Transforming Infantile Trauma in Analytic Work with Children and Adults : The Clinical Writings of Alessandra Cavalli book cover
1st Edition

Transforming Infantile Trauma in Analytic Work with Children and Adults
The Clinical Writings of Alessandra Cavalli

ISBN 9781032214672
Published September 23, 2022 by Routledge
186 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This vivid and moving volume presents the clinical work and writings of Alessandra Cavalli, an internationally known child and adult psychoanalyst who taught and supervised widely, ran infant observation seminars in the UK and Europe and was closely involved in the development of child analysis training in Russia.

Informed by a deep knowledge of theory, each chapter draws on many strands of both psychoanalytic and Jungian thought, integrating multiple analytic languages into a coherent clinical language specific to Cavalli. The book includes 11 of her most important papers about work with children and adults, with an introduction by the distinguished Jungian psychoanalyst Warren Colman.

Her work was primarily concerned with the impact of trauma on the developing self and the importance of weathering emotional storms in search of meaning, and the book will be fascinating reading for clinicians of different psychoanalytic approaches working with adults and children as well as students of psychotherapy and counselling.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Casper or 'the cabinet of horrors'  2. Power cut in the countertransference  3. On receiving what has gone astray, on finding what has got lost  4. Trangenerational transmission of indigestible facts: from trauma, deadly ghosts and mental voids to meaning-making interpretations  5. From affect to feelings and thoughts: from abuse to care and understanding  6. Clinging, gripping, holding, containment: Reflections on a survival reflex and the development of a capacity to separate  7. From not knowing to knowing: an early infantile trauma involving separation  8. Giving voice to psychic pain: The British-Mexican connection, On the Vicissitudes of creating a home for street children  9. Identification - obstacle to individuation, or: on how to become 'me'  10. Noah's Ark: technical and theoretical implications concerning the use of metaphor in the treatment of trauma  11. Continuous becoming or the experience of coming into being

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Alessandra Cavalli, PhD, was an internationally known child, adolescent and adult analyst who created a unique clinical model integrating Jung, Klein and Bion. A training and supervising analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology in London, she taught infant observation seminars and lectured and supervised widely in the UK and abroad.


'Alessandra Cavalli was a wonderfully creative writer, thinker and teacher. Her blending of Klein, Bion and Jung with her close observation of babies, her patients and her clinical self have led to some real pearls. We are lucky to have this collection.' Anne Alvarez, PhD, MACP, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, London

'The imagination and generosity of Alessandra Cavalli’s clinical writing make this book a pleasure to read as well as a stimulus to debate about fundamental psychoanalytic theory. It is an eloquent demonstration of the creative bringing together of clinical practice with adults and children, in the footsteps of Klein, Winnicott and Fordham.' Margaret Rustin, child and adult psychotherapist, honorary consultant child psychotherapist, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, child analyst and honorary member British Psychoanalytic Society

'Alessandra Cavalli’s book will be of immense interest to clinicians working with early trauma in the psyche of children and adults. Comprehensively integrating the work of Jung, Fordham, Klein and Bion, her profound exploration of the nature and meaning of unconscious intersubjective processes will be invaluable to psychotherapists and psychoanalysts.' Brian Feldman, PhD, child and adult analyst, Jung Institute, San Francisco, CA

'This most important book demonstrates not only the very solid theoretical and clinical foundation of Alessandra Cavalli’s work but also her brilliant creative mind. Her work on trauma and its influence on the developing self is outstanding and gives the reader an inspirational integration of psychoanalysis and Jungian archetypal theory.' Misser Berg, Jungian analyst, Denmark, President-Elect, International Association of Analytical Psychology

'Alessandra Cavalli had an inexhaustible curiosity about the human mind and hope for the other, and her generosity in sharing the wisdom of her experience, both clinical and existential, made her an outstanding teacher and writer.' Elena Bortuleva, child psychotherapist, adult analyst, Russian Society of Analytical Psychology