Abandonment and Separation

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Date(s) - 26/01/2019
10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ


Identity: On how to become ‘me’

Jung’s idea of individuation

Alessandra Cavalli

Alessandra will describe how in her work with children, unprocessed weaning and the absence of a good experience of separation can lead the child to identify with aspects of the lost caregiver as a defence against pain.  She will discuss how this state of affairs becomes a hindrance to individuation and highlight what is the meaning of identification as a defence, clarifying the link between mourning and individuation.  Descriptions of work with a three-year-old boy illustrate how the sudden loss of his mother’s breasts had made weaning intolerable to him. In the discussion of the case material the use of identification as a defence will be highlighted, and a differentiation will be made between abandonment and separation.   

Alessandra Cavalli, PhD, child and adult analyst in private practice, is a training and supervising analyst at the Society of Analytical Psychology.  She also supervises therapeutic work with children in care in Juconi, Mexico. In 2013 she initiated a training course in child psychotherapy in Moscow with a group of Jungian and non-Jungian child psychotherapists from London. She has published extensively in the Journal of Analytical Psychology, and is co-editor with Lucinda Hawkins and Martha Stevns of the book Transformation, published by Karnac Books in 2013.



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