chapter  Chapter Nineteen
10 Pages

Marked for life—psychotherapy in the case of a severely traumatised child

WithAnnette Streeck-Fischer

The children and adolescents in question usually exhibit disturbances in social behaviour, are aggressive and destructive towards others as well as towards themselves; they lie, steal, suffer from anxiety attacks and nightmares, are prone to alcohol and drug abuse, and are subject to severe learning, attention, and contact disorders, to mention only a few types of conspicuous behaviour. The understanding, provided by neurosis psychology, of primitive defence mechanisms and ego-structural deficits as well as deficient self-object differentiation does not suffice for comprehensively discerning and treating these young patients’ problems. Chronic and complex traumas cause serious relationship disorders in terms of the self, the environment, and being together with others. The qualitative analysis in Coloured Progressive Matrices also continued to indicate difficulties in spatial orientation and in the translation of position.