Compassion, sadism, words and song: Development and breakdown in the intensive psychotherapy of an adopted boy.

Catty, Jocelyn (2019) Compassion, sadism, words and song: Development and breakdown in the intensive psychotherapy of an adopted boy. Journal of Child Psychotherapy . ISSN 1469-9370 (electronic) 0075-417X (paper)

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Abstract

This paper describes the intensive psychotherapy of a late-adopted boy who had been severely traumatised in his first five years of life. In describing the progress and then deterioration of his mental state and his psychotherapy, I examine the development of his compassion for the vulnerable side of himself, as part of a battle between identification with the vulnerable and sadistic aspects of his internal world. I trace how this compassion was reflected in his concern for others in his external world and fantasised others in his play. I also describe the use of sound and rhythm in enabling him to experience sufficient containment in his psychotherapy for his deepest preoccupations to begin to emerge. In so doing, I examine literature on music and musicality, and seek to demonstrate the relevance of Suzanne Maiello’s advocacy of listening with a ‘musical ear’ to psychotherapy with looked-after and traumatised children, whose life ‘rhythms’ have been so catastrophically disrupted.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adoption, Abuse, Relational Trauma, Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Music And Child Development
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Development
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adoption & Fostering- Psychology
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Abuse & Neglect - Psychology
Department/People: Department of Education and Training
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2076

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