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Garon, J. (2004). Skeletons in the Closet. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 13(1/2):84-92.

(2004). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 13(1/2):84-92

Skeletons in the Closet

Josette Garon

How can familiarity with Ferenczi's theory of trauma help us hear the constraints imposed by family secrets on the traumatized child in the adult who addresses himself to us? We focus our elaboration on the concept and the fate of the trans-generational alien transplant as well as the splitting that occurs over time as disavowal takes on different shapes and forms as it courses through the generations. In the first generation it takes the shape of an object of negation, in the second, denial and in the third generation, family secrets can be foreclosed.

Three clinical vignettes will help us see what may become of these traumatized children summoned to silence and how our own counter-transference can interact with or against disavowal.

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