The result of three decades of psychoanalytic work with children and adolescents, this book takes a fresh and empathic look on the pervasive developmental disorders in childhood and adolescence, describing their many manifestations through the presentation of particularly representative clinical cases, in pages of high scientific rigour but also of simple and poetic language. What To Do if the Mind Does Not Develop speaks both to the specialist and researcher and to the reader who is simply interested in the topic, thanks also to a glossary of the more difficult technical terms. The text offers valuable psychoanalytic observations on the cognitive and emotional difficulties of these patients that may help physicians, teachers, and parents to develop a better and deeper understanding of their true psychology.
Preface -- Prologue -- Method of Enquiry -- Introduction to Part I -- The mind model of child psychoanalysis in clinical work with children -- An example of psychoanalytic consultation with children: the clinical case of Carlotta (C) -- The eyes and the mind (1): on the observational processes in clinical work with children -- Clinical Findings -- What can be done if the mind does not develop? Encountering bi-dimensionality and absence of meaning while working with child and adolescent psychotics -- Is it possible to interpret autistic material in the way we interpret dreams? -- Thomas (T), the child trapped in a “deaf and dumb” Pinocchio-like body: in between a disembodied mind and a dehumanised body -- Suzanne (S), a Goldilocks-like spiteful little girl: the growth of a new concept of self through the birth of imagination -- Rebecca (Re), the child kissed by the Snow Queen: lifeline and perspective as symbolic forms -- Implications -- The eyes and the mind (2): the exercise of knowing the self and the other -- In the clearing of being: the difficult discovery of shared meanings in the process of weaning from therapy in a patient suffering from pervasive developmental disorder -- Areas of conceptual and methodological development -- the alpha-function -- the notion of reverie -- the notion of reversal of the alpha-function -- the clinical phenomenon of negative contagion -- the notion of part object -- compositional aspects of communication -- the concepts of misconception and disorientation in object relations -- the concept of claustrum -- the concepts of intransigent and faulty objects -- significant form and aesthetic emotion -- perspective as a symbolic “form”