Document Detail

The complex nature of exposure to early childhood trauma in the psychoanalysis of a child.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20068246     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
When an intense transference relationship evolves during psychoanalysis, sensory and emotional experiences associated with trauma can arise spontaneously. Detailed clinical process material is presented from the psychoanalysis of a six-year-old boy whose severe trauma at age two and a half contributed to his conflicts about aggression and gender identity, impeding his development. A series of analytic sessions during which he spontaneously enacted fantasies, feelings, and defenses associated with the trauma in the immediacy of the transference relationship are used to illustrate how psychoanalysis provided him the safety to rework this overwhelming experience and its aftermath, thereby restoring progressive development. It is hypothesized that while work with trauma was only one feature in an otherwise complex treatment, psychoanalysis provided a sophisticated form of reexposure to developmentally primitive emotions, images, and fantasies that this child had not consciously connected with the trauma. Associated early childhood conflicts pertaining to aggression, separation, and gender identity, warded off with rigid defenses, had become intertwined with the trauma and its aftermath, rendering them otherwise inaccessible.
Judith M Chertoff
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association     Volume:  57     ISSN:  1941-2460     ISO Abbreviation:  J Am Psychoanal Assoc     Publication Date:  2009 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-01-13     Completed Date:  2010-03-15     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505579     Medline TA:  J Am Psychoanal Assoc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1425-57     Citation Subset:  IM    
Baltimore-Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Georgetown University Medical Center, MD, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Child Development
Child Psychology*
Family / psychology*
Gender Identity
Life Change Events*
Play and Playthings
Psychoanalytic Therapy
Transference (Psychology)*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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