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Pollock, G.H. (1986). Chapter 7: Abandonment. The Reconstruction of Trauma: Its Significance in Clinical Work, 105-120.

Pollock, G.H. (1986). Chapter 7: Abandonment. The Reconstruction of Trauma: Its Significance in Clinical Work , 105-120

Chapter 7: Abandonment Book Information Previous Up Next

George H. Pollock, M.D., Ph.D.

Over the years I have had, and continue to work with patients, directly or through supervised analyses, who were actually abandoned totally and permanently for critical periods of their childhood; or who were adopted at birth; who were abandoned by a divorced parent who did not obtain custody; who were abandoned when one or both parents suicided when the patient was a young child; who had a parent desert the family; who were placed in orphanages or foster homes because of economic issues; who had one or both parents institutionalized for serious emotional illness; who felt they were abandoners either by giving up newborns for adoption or having induced abortion, or who divorced; who felt they were abandoning their elderly parents by placing them in nursing homes; who gave pets up for adoption or “put them away”; or who lived with one or both depressed parents, where there was no physical separation but there was emotional abandonment or threat of this.

These latter patients usually are more damaged than when

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* It is important to emphasize that separation is not the same as abandonment or loss, although these terms are frequently used interchangeably. Following separation we can get growth, further development, and individuation, even though some loss of the prior state occurs.

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