Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To quickly return from a journal’s Table of Contents to the Table of Volumes…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can return with one click from a journal’s Table of Contents (TOC) to the Table of Volumes simply by clicking on “Volume n” at the top of the TOC (where n is the volume number).

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Mooney, R. (2016). ‘It’s silly these doors don’t open’: a six-year-old girl emerges from a chronic state of emotional withdrawal. J. Child Psychother., 42(2):163-178.

(2016). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 42(2):163-178

‘It’s silly these doors don’t open’: a six-year-old girl emerges from a chronic state of emotional withdrawal

Ruth Mooney

This clinical paper explores the way in which the first two years of a long-term psychotherapy helped six-year-old Anna to lessen her retreat into a chronic withdrawn emotional state. Over the course of the first year she would occasionally pick up the fridge from the doll’s house and try to open the doors, but because the fridge was actually a block of wood the doors could not open. In treatment, this inquiry came to represent the difficulties of engaging and making contact with a baby who found it very hard to feed. The author describes how, as Anna entered into a therapeutic relationship, it slowly became clear that there was an inner world jam-packed with persecutory anxieties and a family history of unmourned loss and trauma. Through fear Anna slammed the doors to her mind – to knowing herself – and by not feeding, Anna starved herself of opportunities for mental growth. It took some time for her to state, “it’s silly these doors don’t open, they should”. In the discussion of this clinical material the author draws on the work of Francis Tustin, Alessandra Piontelli and Marguerite Reid to consider the link between intergenerational and prenatal trauma and subsequent emotional disturbance in the 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.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.