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Mattsson, B. Maliniemi-Piispanen, S. (2011). An Interview Study with a Finnish War Child. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 34(1):31-40.

(2011). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 34(1):31-40

An Interview Study with a Finnish War Child

Barbara Mattsson and Sinikka Maliniemi-Piispanen

This study presents an interview with a Finnish woman who as a child was evacuated to Sweden during World War 2, and did not return to her homeland after the war. The interview material, which was first collected in a larger, ongoing study on Finnish war children, was elucidated with the method of “Grounded Theory” as well as by applying psychoanalytic theoretical perspectives and information derived from the interviewer's countertransference. Among the identified experiential themes, which are typical of permanently displaced Finnish war children in general, were emptiness, rage, internal conflicts related to having two pairs of parents, and signs of traumatic reactions. The analysis illuminates how the interviewee's defensive efforts were directed against ignorance (not knowing), helplessness and psychic conflict.

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