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Salomonsson, B. Salomonsson, M.W. (2017). Intimacy Thwarted and Established: Following a Girl from Infancy to Child Psychotherapy. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(3):861-875.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(3):861-875

IPA Congress Papers

Intimacy Thwarted and Established: Following a Girl from Infancy to Child Psychotherapy Language Translation

Björn Salomonsson and Majlis Winberg Salomonsson

Björn S:Introduction

A blood vessel's innermost layer is called the intima. Is intimacy then to reach the innermost of another being? Is it a “process by which a dyad - in the expression of thought, affect, and behaviour - attempts to move toward complete communication on all levels” (Hatfield, 1982, p. 271, italics added)? Klein (1975) states that this is a chimera: Indeed, “a satisfactory early relation to the mother… implies a close contact between the unconscious of the mother and of the child” (p. 301), but this does not imply a complete communication. Later in life, we love to “express thoughts and feelings to a congenial person, [but] there remains an unsatisfied longing for an understanding without words - ultimately for the earliest relation with the mother. This longing contributes to the sense of loneliness and derives from the depressive feeling of an irretrievable loss” (1975, p. 301, italics added). Intimacy implies to unite in understanding and love - and to accept loss and loneliness. Without this combination, intimacy will be thwarted. We conceive of it as a movement and not a state, a dance and not a fusion. Like Klein, we suggest it builds up in infancy. What, then, if the dance of intimacy between mother and baby gets jagged and unrhythmical? How would that alter the child's development of affection, understanding, and other abilities? As child analysts and researchers, we could study this question by following Annie and her mother from 5 months to 7” years.

[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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