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Carneiro, M.I. (2016). Light and Color in a Void: The Analysis of a Special Needs Child. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(2):333-356.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(2):333-356

Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis

Light and Color in a Void: The Analysis of a Special Needs Child

Maria Inês Neuenschwander Escosteguy Carneiro

(Accepted for publication 2 July 2014)

This clinical report comes from the five year, four day a week analysis of a male child. What is special is that this treatment is of a child with marked mental retardation. I have retained this nomenclature because that is how Ricardo's parents described his mental capacity. What they meant was that he was greatly impaired in his cognition and this could be seen in Ricardo's severe cognitive, social, behavioral, and relational improprieties. I have privileged the function of psychoanalytic understanding and the role of transference to bring about modifications in this child's internal world. And I have considered the patient's psychotic mental state to be in need of psychoanalytic treatment not withstanding his psychosis's connection to his cognitive handicap. I have also added information I have received after the analysis, information that demonstrates continued integration coming from the analytic process. Owing to Ricardo's limited mental capacities, this article advances clinical information that is not often found in analyses of children. There are possibly many other children like him who nonetheless would benefit from dynamic psychoanalytic understanding. On the other hand, I shall not discuss this matter theoretically, even though some theoretic considerations are necessary. Clinical practice and the transferential relation are this report's principal material.

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