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Contextos Clínicos

Print version ISSN 1983-3482


FEIJO, Luan Paris  and  OLIVEIRA, Débora Silva de. Emotional deprivation and its effects on relationships: a psychotherapy of an institutionalized child. Contextos Clínic [online]. 2016, vol.9, n.1, pp. 72-85. ISSN 1983-3482.

This article aims to discuss the impact of emotional deprivation to bond with parental figures, for the therapist-patient relationship and the playful activity of a child in an institutional care situation. Thus, the method used was a single case study of qualitative and longitudinal design. To make a better understanding of the case possible, a content analysis based on transcript sessions of psychotherapy was conducted. The results revealed that the emotional deprivation experienced by the patient and projected on the therapist represented the impact of such disruptions on early object relations, becoming a pattern to other interpersonal relationships involving the subject. The experiences of emotional deprivation were traumatic and initially exceeded the capacity of symbolization, and the patient was not able to put these experiences in words, generating different fantasies of punishment, death and deprivation. Through the psychotherapeutic process, we realized the need to offer, in the therapy setting, a place for care, continence and support, which was possible through the relationship with the therapist. Finally, through play in psychotherapy, there was the possibility of creating a space for the representation of the patient's dynamics and the interpretation of what was going on in his inner world, thus increasing his symbolic capacity. The need to study this issue for better understanding the case and the therapeutic process was demonstrated. Finally, it is considered that psychological interventions are essential for healthy development of institutionalized patients and, also, that more systematic research is needed to understand the impact of disruptions in the relations with parental objects to these subjects, their families and the substitute caregivers.

Keywords : institutionalized child; psychotherapy; bond relationships and emotional deprivation.

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