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Ekstein, R. Friedman, S. (1967). Object Constancy and Psychotic Reconstruction. Psychoanal. St. Child, 22:357-374.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 22:357-374

Object Constancy and Psychotic Reconstruction

Rudolf Ekstein, Ph.D. and Seymour Friedman, M.D.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

When Theresa Esperanza, our patient, was a little girl less than ten years of age, she lived with her maiden aunt in a swank apartment on the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, near the Statue of Independence. She loved that monument and its golden angel on top which had been shattered into many pieces during one of the violent earthquakes but was now completely restored and as good as new, at least on its shiny and glittering surface.

That was between 1956 and 1958, years before she started treatment at the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center. Later, when psychotherapy became a desperate necessity, her aunt gave a vivid description, a condensed account of the child's life at that time. The aunt had given the child a charming little poodle which they owned for about two years. Theresa gave the dog the name Trampa, the Spanish equivalent of Tramp, the Disney character in the movie The Lady and the Tramp. The dog had been bought originally because Theresa had wanted a dog, but soon, without anybody knowing why, the animal became attached to the aunt.

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