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ERIC Number: EJ834449
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-0075-417X
Moved to Tears: Technical Considerations and Dilemmas Encountered in Working with a 13-Year-Old Boy with Acquired Quadriplegia
Owens, Caroline
Journal of Child Psychotherapy, v31 n3 p284-302 Dec 2005
This paper is about therapeutic work with David, a 13-year-old boy who, at the age of 5, was the victim of a hit-and-run road traffic accident resulting in quadriplegia. The circumstances leading to the accident and its sequelae reveal a particularly complex picture, which combines early emotional deprivation and trauma. Although cognitively intact and able to speak, David could not move. Yet he created movement in others through a desperate necessity, by communicating via the employment of extreme projective forces. The highly complex presentation of emotional, psychic and bodily damage in the child, and in particular, David's physical paralysis, has had a profound impact upon what I have come to think of as the "mindbody" of the therapist. Winnicott has talked of the infant's "psyche/soma". Here I want to extend the notion and consider the bodily impact of projections in particular and how these have a powerful emotional and physical resonance on the "mindbody" of the therapist, especially in therapy with a young person whose body is damaged. In this paper, I consider technical challenges and dilemmas encountered in the work, including the complex interplay of transference/countertransference phenomena. This unusual presentation of a boy in extraordinary circumstances led to considerations of psychoanalytic method and interpretative activity, which may be viewed as being inspired by "emotional truthfulness". (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A