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Marie Walshe – Desertion and Disintegration in an Adolescent Dream Odyssey


THE LETTER 36 (Spring 2006) pages 94-102


This paper is based upon a case study presented to the Child Analysis Group. The work with this child proceeded through a series of dreams, some of which were quite evocative and disturbing at times. I believe that the paper may be interesting in light of the group’s work and because of the quality of her dreams. Children often present the most wonderful dreams, which they recount with an innocence that reflects their total engagement with the work. They do not seek to challenge a perceived Master’s position as the adult weekend-supplement-reader may do. Instead, the child’s dream speaks the true language of the unconscious. The child’s dreams culminated in a repeating nightmare whose horror made her fear going to sleep. These final sessions were extremely difficult, until the nightmare could be interpreted and its unconscious symbolism unlocked. The anxiety of this one-way imperative transmission required to be tolerated, its urgency respected as the fuel that impelled the work of the session, until the messenger could hear, at last, her own message.

Desertion and Disintegration in an Adolescent Dream Odyssey

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