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Borenstein, L. (2019). When More “We” Becomes More “Me”: Transitional Objects and Forward Movement in Child Psychotherapy. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 18(3):223-233.

(2019). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 18(3):223-233

When More “We” Becomes More “Me”: Transitional Objects and Forward Movement in Child Psychotherapy

Lynn Borenstein, LCSW

The child therapist’s challenge is to remobilize a child’s forward movement after a developmental derailment has occurred. In this paper, drawing on Winnicott’s concept of transitional object and Tolpin’s concept of tendril of health, I discuss how, within the therapeutic relationship, the psychotherapist comes to serve a transitional object-like function for the child thereby catalyzing the resumption of forward movement. A clinical case is elaborated to illustrate how this process is facilitated by a therapeutic stance of empathic alertness and non-judgmental attentiveness.

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