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Anderson, R. (2017). Discussion of the Case of Bento. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(5):1433-1441.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(5):1433-1441

Discussion of the Case of Bento Related Papers

Robin Anderson


This is an engaging and interesting account of an analysis of a boy from the age of 6.

At the beginning Maria Inês introduces us to a very withdrawn passive-aggressive boy who she feels communicates to her his ‘emotional experience of trying to find a mother’ though in her description she is haunted by the image of an angry regressed boy and his mother clinging to each other in a hopeless and dead way with little sense of affection present. He seems to have given up hope. There is a livelier father but one who is not readily available. His little sister in contrast seems to be full of life and shows a capacity to reach out to her objects including to Bento's analyst and seems to have a natural expectation that she will be liked, in stark contrast to her brother, provoking much jealousy and envy.

It is hard to get a sense from the background of what might lie behind this presentation. The parents became concerned at his deterioration after the birth of his sister when he was 5, 10 months prior to seeking consultation. But he had been a premature baby and breast-feeding was given up early we are told. There are also some stories of tragedies and violence in the background. In the analysis he shows a strong aversion to contact as though he expects very little from any object or from himself. His sister on the other hand expects an interesting object and seems to have an intuitive sense that her brother's analyst might provide her with something life enhancing.

[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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