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Markman Reubins, B. (2017). Early consequences of pre-Oedipal maternal deprivation. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 26(1):38-42.

(2017). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 26(1):38-42

Early consequences of pre-Oedipal maternal deprivation

Beatriz Markman Reubins

The goal of this paper is to emphasize the early consequences of pre-Oedipal maternal deprivation, addressing the theories and techniques of the pioneers of child psychoanalysis. Even when these theories differ in their understanding and conceptualization of child psychopathology, their common denominator is that they believe in the importance of the infant’s early experiences of life and the necessary physical and emotional constancy of the mother–infant dyad. This paper approaches the different theories using three clinical vignettes. Through the synthesis of the psychoanalytic therapeutic process of a four-year-old boy, we can see how the conflicts and symptoms evolved and resolved in the course of five years of treatment, during which the boy’s behavior and productivity changed, allowing the treatment to come to an end. This boy was able to work through his traumatic separation experience in analysis, and to develop more mature defense mechanisms that led him toward a better adjustment to his environment. We can conclude that the early interruption of maternal care led to serious symptoms in this child’s behavior and mental organization. If these difficulties had not been addressed in time, the symptoms would have gone on to become severe.

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