chapter  7
10 Pages

Soul Blindness: A Child Must Be Seen to Be Heard

We have described families in which the parents are blind to the real personalities of their children, where parents use the defense of externalization to deal with their own anxiety or pain (Novick and Novick, 1970). Externalization is the attribution to another person of parts of one's own personality, irrespective of the other's characteristics. When this is a parent's way of relating to a child, the child's reality is denied-a particular form of the defense graphically described by Wurmser (1994, 1996) as "soul blindness."