Invisible Boundaries: Psychosis and Autism in Children and Adolescents

Overview

The chapters of this book, all written by experienced psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists, address different aspects of the psychotherapeutic treatment with psychotic children or adolescents. This volume collects the main contributions to the fourth conference of the child and adolescent section of the EFPP, held in Caen, France in September 2001, on the general topic of "Psychotic Children and Adolescents and their Families."

Anne Alvarez's contribution reflects her ...

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Invisible Boundaries: Psychosis and Autism in Children and Adolescents

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Overview

The chapters of this book, all written by experienced psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists, address different aspects of the psychotherapeutic treatment with psychotic children or adolescents. This volume collects the main contributions to the fourth conference of the child and adolescent section of the EFPP, held in Caen, France in September 2001, on the general topic of "Psychotic Children and Adolescents and their Families."

Anne Alvarez's contribution reflects her long experience in treating autistic and psychotic children and adolescents, as well as her profound understanding of the relevance of recent developmental research to the understanding of psychopathology. Britta Blomberg draws on the treatment of two children with autism in her meticulous study of the development of the concepts of space and time and of the theory of mind. Julia Pestalozzi refers to the idea of psychotic functioning in adolescence--as proposed by Moses and Egle Laufer--that adolescents in a state of "psychotic functioning" have their body image profoundly split between the pregenital body image of childhood and the sexual body image of adolescence. In his contribution, Didier Houzel describes a very early splitting in autistic children between the male and female components of the containing object, which prevents the transformation of his/her sensory experiences into thinkable elements and, therefore, the construction of an inner world. Suzanne Maiello discusses Houzel's contribution in reference to her description of the prenatal experience of a sound object by the fetus. The volume ends with two "conversations" with senior clinicians. The work of both Geneviève Haag and Raymond Cahn is not widely translated into English. The publication of this volume is therefore a welcome opportunity to present aspects of their work to an English-speaking audience.

Contributors: Anne Alvarez, Britta Blomberg, Raymond Cahn, Geneviève Haag, Didier Houzel, Suzanne Maiello, Julia Pestalozzi, and Maria Rhode

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a most valuable demonstration of the cross-fertilizing currents in child psychotherapy in Europe. The integration of post-Kleinian psychoanalytic theory, particularly drawing on the work of Frances Tustin and of the discoveries of child developmental researchers and neuroscientists, is elegantly described, and the clinical implications of this convergence are explored. The contributions of Houzel, Pestalozzi, Haag and Alvarez indicate just how alive this international dialogue has become. This book is a landmark in developments which fire new hope of understanding deeply troubled children and adolescents and will be read widely and attentively and with profound appreciation."

“In this richly illuminating volume, Houzel and Rhode have thoughtfully gathered together several significant offerings from some of today’s leading exponents of Melanie Klein and Frances Tustin. The works of the authors included here take into consideration recent developments in neuropsychology and continue on in the tradition of these two great child analysts who led the way toward the understanding and treatment of infantile psychosis and autism. For those who do not work with children, these contributions are well worth the read, as they present invaluable implications for technique with those autistic and psychotic enclaves that I find to be ubiquitous in neurotic, narcissistic, borderline and psychotic adult patients in analysis.”

“The theoretical and clinical contributions contained in this book are rooted in psychoanalytic practice. They bear witness to the creativity of psychoanalysis, a perpetually evolving living science, and they open up numerous therapeutic perspectives on psychological treatments and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Maria Rhode is Professor of Child Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic and the University of East London. She is co-editor of Psychotic States in Children (1997), and is currently working on an early intervention project for toddlers with communication difficulties.

Didier Houzel is joint Series Editor of the EFPP series with Monica Lanyado. He is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Caen. He is a member of the Psychoanalytic Association of France, the author of several French publications and he specializes in work on autism and infant psychosis.

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Table of Contents

Editors and contributors; Series Editors’ Prefce—Monica Lanyado and Didier Houzel; Introduction—Didier Houzel and Maria Rhode; 1) Autism and psychosis—Anne Alvarez; 2) Time, space, and the mind: psychotherapy with children with autism—Britta Blomberg; 3) The symbolic and the concrete: psychotic adolescents in psychoanalytic psychotherapy—Julia Pestalozzi; 4) Splitting of psychic bisexuality in autistic children—Didier Houzel; 5) Comment on “Splitting of psychic bisexuality in autistic children”—Suzanne Maiello; 6) Conversation with Geneviève Haag—Introduced by Hélène and Alexandre Dubinsky; 7) Conversation with Raymond Cahn—Introduced by François Marty; References; Index.
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