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(p. 245) Dissociation Revealed in a Therapeutic Consultation 

(p. 245) Dissociation Revealed in a Therapeutic Consultation
(p. 245) Dissociation Revealed in a Therapeutic Consultation

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 02 July 2020

Winnicott discusses one detail of the antisocial clinical picture to illustrate the feature of dissociation, which recurs regularly in case histories. He illustrates this using a psychotherapeutic interview with a girl of eight years, which led to a cessation of stealing and which Winnicott believes was therefore significant. He writes that the child who does not acknowledge the antisocial act is the child who is in distress and who wants help and who can be helped. Another example concerns a deprived child who craved friendship but could not achieve it and did not make friends easily. The child was aware that he was suffering from a compulsion, but could not believe in what he had done under this compulsion, showing the dissociation in his psyche. Winnicott maintains that antisocial behaviour in a child is linked to a loss of hope—disillusionment—which needs to be returned to in order to recover the capacity for hope.

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