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Marcandella, C. (2020). Trois enfants dans la tourmente du cancer de leurs parents. Rev. fr. psychanal., 84(1):141-147.

(2020). Revue française de psychanalyse, 84(1):141-147

Trois enfants dans la tourmente du cancer de leurs parents

(Three Children in the Turmoil of Their Parents' Cancer)

Cécile Marcandella

In the context of a “family” consultation set up and elaborated following a long practice with cancerologists, I see every week the close relatives (partners, children or parents) of sick adult patients in a Centre for the Fight against Cancer: the François Baclesse Centre in Caen. As a clinical psychologist, I meet many children and adolescents there who are caught up in the anxieties and conflicts aroused by their parent's cancer. In this paper, I try to describe the “model child” in three forms, through three accounts. These three positions are intrinsically bound up with the oedipal conflicts of childhood, at the beginning and end of adolescence; with parental projections and the defensive organisations that these children establish in order to survive in this temporality disrupted by cancer and by the traumatic experiences due to the hazards of the treatments. This set-up creates a space of listening and elaboration for the distress felt by these children and adolescents. It is a matter of offering some lines of reflection on the context of this work and on the internal movements of these children caught up in parental issues, and of looking at ways of working with them on the paths of resolution that they find and invent.

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