When a Child Has Been Abused : Towards Psychoanalytic Understanding and Therapy book cover
1st Edition

When a Child Has Been Abused
Towards Psychoanalytic Understanding and Therapy

ISBN 9781138324015
Published September 18, 2018 by Routledge
154 Pages

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Book Description

This important and wide-ranging book explores the world of a child or young person who has been abused or neglected. It seeks to understand their world, to ease the pain from which they suffer, and to heal the wounds that the abuse has left.

Examining how abuse always takes place in the context of relationships, and involves a misuse of power that causes a traumatic overwhelming of the child or adolescent, abuse also evokes strong countertransference. This affects interventions, particularly when clinicians struggle with feelings of which they may feel ashamed. A difficulty in coming to terms with and addressing child abuse relates to unconscious factors which, by freezing the emotional area surrounding the abuse (or by blinding the area of personality), makes some thoughts unthinkable.

Considering traditional and novel ways of helping children who feel they have been maltreated, the book offers suggestions for individual treatment as well as describing the successful work carried out with child refugees. It also offers a glimpse into what child psychoanalysts interpret and do with children who feel a parent hates them.

Table of Contents




Series editor foreword


[Frances Thomson-Salo]

PART I Mainly clinical

1. A comprehensive approach to child abuse

[Jordi Sala]

2. Discussion of Jordi Sala’s paper

[Irma Brenman Pick]

3. Child abuse as confusion of tongues

[Luis Jorge Martin Cabré]

4. Todd

[Mali A. Mann]

5. The abused child – a sad, never ending story: Some observations on abused children in the current refugee crisis

[Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber]

6. The making of an abuser

[John Woods]

7. The lost child

[Laura Tognoli]

8. When something that should happen does not: the unwelcome child and his psychic vicissitudes

[Massimo Vigna Taglianti]

9. May your steel be as sharp as your final no!

[Gemma Zontini]


10. Protecting the care systems to prevent burnout

10.1 All in the same boat: The activity of the Abuse and Ill-treatment Group: Thinking about unequal power in human relations. Personal motives in taking part in the Abuse and Ill-treatment Group of the Genoese Psychoanalytical Centre, Italian Psychoanalytical Society

[Maria Pia Conti and Stefano Bomarsi]

10.2 Abused children – reflections on the model

[Renata Rizzitelli and Carola del Favora]

10.3 "I am naked, not just barehanded!

[Maria Naccari Carlizzi]

10.4 Abused children, caregivers, psychoanalysts… voices from the groups: Reflections on the model and its use

[Anna Maria Risso]

10.5 What happens to pain: the evolution of the request

[Elise Alice Pellerano and Ivana Pozzoli]

10.6 The group is frightened and frightening

[Chiara Napoli and Anna Maria Risso]

PART III Legal aspects

11. Protecting the child and assessing the evidence: The task and role of the judiciary in child abuse

[Cristina Maggia]

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Frances Thomson-Salo is Associate Professor and Consultant Infant Mental Health Clinician in the Centre for Women's Mental Health at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, Honorary Principal Fellow in the University of Melbourne's Department of Psychiatry, and Instructor in the University of Melbourne Graduate Diploma/Masters in Infant and Parent Mental Health, Australia.

Laura Tognoli Pasquali is member of the International Psychoanalytical Association’s Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis and training and supervising analyst in the Italian Psychoanalytical Society.