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Cavalli, A. (2011). Clinical commentary by Alessandra Cavalli, a child psychotherapist working in private practice. J. Child Psychother., 37(2):198-201.

(2011). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 37(2):198-201

Clinical commentary by Alessandra Cavalli, a child psychotherapist working in private practice

Alessandra Cavalli

In this commentary, I hope to be able to say something that might be helpful for the therapist who seems very engaged with her difficult patient.

I will try to organise my thoughts around two vertexes: the patient and her relationship with herself, and the patient and her relationship with another. I will try to think about these issues in relation to affect.

The patient and her relationship with herself

I was intrigued by the fact that the patient does not want to think about her past, and we are left with little information, which seem to me 'pregnant' with meaning. This meaning cannot be born into a thought because the patient does not want to think, nor does she want to digest information. The actual mother of the patient had three miscarriages before having the patient. If the patient was able to think about that, she could feel a certain range of feelings, including the fact that she was not a miscarriage, but was born and cared for. Because of the patient's unwillingness to be curious about all these facts, explore them and think and feel all the related feelings, important information about the patient's attitude towards herself are emerging.

[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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