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Prot, V.A. (2009). The Analyst at Work Comments on ‘Boys only! No Mothers Allowed’. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(1):13-18.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(1):13-18

The Analyst at Work Comments on ‘Boys only! No Mothers Allowed’ Related Papers Language Translation

Viviane Abel Prot

After reading and re-reading this narrative, I remain full of admiration for Mrs Smolen's courage, tenacity, and kind presence. Her interventions or interpretations are not intrusive and her respectful manner in speaking about other people's difficulties is quite remarkable. The first eight months of Georgie's life were dramatic. His adoptive father certainly saved him from physical and psychic death. Thanks to the treatment he received for his ears, the child was able to recover his hearing but had to undergo “multiple surgeries” to correct a strabismus. He had also had his tonsils removed. The treatment and operations were a painful ordeal for this child who had already suffered greatly, and the contrast between the absence of stimulation of the first months and the over-stimulation thereafter is striking.

Georgie is clearly very resourceful, as can be seen merely from his development following the adoption. His adoptive father's determination and support are impressive. I wonder in what ways the adoption of another little boy, one year after Georgie's adoption, may have disorganized the latter's precarious equilibrium. And further, what sort of brotherly relations he was able to develop thereafter with his brother, born in a different country. One can imagine the original abandonment being reactualized by John's arrival on the scene, the rivalry between them, and the narcissistic leaning on another similar child …

When I meet the parent(s) of a child who needs to come for therapy or analysis, I am very attentive to the way in which the parents — even if they are apparently in favour of the treatment — are going to tolerate the analytic situation proposed to their child.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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