An exploration into the impact of a child psychotherapist's pregnancy on her clinical work

Sharma, Rajni (2019) An exploration into the impact of a child psychotherapist's pregnancy on her clinical work. In: New discoveries in child psychotherapy: Findings from qualitative research. The Tavistock Clinic Series . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 269-292. ISBN 9780367244101

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Pregnancy is dramatic evidence of the difference between men and women and the “for ever incomprehensible and mysterious, strange and apparently hostile” nature of pregnancy. Pregnancy would have been an ever-present reality in S. Freud’s own childhood as his mother was in an almost perpetual pregnant state, giving birth to seven more children before he was 10 years old. The pregnancy afforded a space to communicate aspects of him that were concerned and understanding, the work was incomplete. The therapist’s pregnancy dramatically brings her sexual life into the work. The pregnancy can become synonymous with attacking or rejecting the therapeutic work. Rather than the pregnancy being a natural and accommodatable reality, it seems that, it becomes an aggressive sexual intrusion in the minds of both patients and therapists. Clinical supervisors described how pregnancy throws up particular complexities in clinical work with very deprived children and adolescents where phantasies can abound of dangerous and perverse intercourse resulting in malignant conception.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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