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Grotjahn, M. (1950). Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949: The Role of the Mother in Psychosomatic Disorders in Children. Melitta Sperling. Pp. 377–385.. Psychoanal Q., 19:448.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949: The Role of the Mother in Psychosomatic Disorders in Children. Melitta Sperling. Pp. 377–385.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:448

Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949: The Role of the Mother in Psychosomatic Disorders in Children. Melitta Sperling. Pp. 377–385.

Martin Grotjahn

From a psychoanalytic study of twenty mother-child relationships certain features seem to emerge as characteristic for those mothers whose children suffered from various psychosomatic disorders: 1, the carry-over of an unresolved emotional conflict from the mother's childhood and the acting out of this conflict with the child (The child may represent an unconsciously hated sibling or parent.); 2, projection of part of the mother's own person onto the child; 3, a need for control over the child so intense that in some of these cases the child is regarded and treated as if it were a part of the mother's own body.

In the case of a seven-year-old girl with ulcerative colitis, the mother had the idea that she could not let the child grow up to be like one of her husband's family, although she destroy both the child and herself. She almost did destroy the child. Treatment of the mother and child as a unit is rewarding practice both for research and therapy, in spite of the technical difficulties.

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Article Citation

Grotjahn, M. (1950). Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949. Psychoanal. Q., 19:448

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