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Eskelinen De Folch, T. (1988). Communication and Containing in Child Analysis: Towards Terminability. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 69:105-112.

(1988). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69:105-112

Communication and Containing in Child Analysis: Towards Terminability

T. Eskelinen De Folch

SUMMARY

The author discusses the relation between certain qualities of communication and containment in the analytical relationship and how these can lead to changes in the child patient's ego either in the direction of greater integration or in the direction of increased splitting and regression. These shifts are described through the case material of the analysis of the 7-year-old girl, Ann. When the analyst did not understand Ann's particular anxiety, she cut off her capacity to perceive, feel and communicate. When, on the contrary, she experienced her analyst as somebody who was able to stand and understand her need and anger and to speak of them to her, this seemed to give her a sense of being contained, and enabled her to introject not only the analyst's interpretations but also her functions of perceiving, intuiting and thinking, that is to say an object who contains through these functions. This object becomes part of the child's own ego through repetitive experience of being contained and understood in all kinds of emotional situations. This in turn broadens the child's capacity to communicate with the external world as well as with her internal world.

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