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Parental narcissism in relation to the child’s disability

Article

French

ID: <10670/1.f5ycup>

Abstract

In order to continue living and raising their child when he has`np pagenum="548"/b been discovered to have a handicap, parents are forced to develop an intense psychic work effort. In their imagination, they often envision another child, a sort of parallel child, a composite set of idealized elements along with other elements which take reality into account. This figure allows them to « be reborn » and to better face the experiences of detachment which are inherent in all parenting, but rendered more complex here by the traumatic impact of the situation. Based on daily experience, the author gives examples of the evolution of parental representations, starting from those which underlie problematical, fusional relationships and those which favor a greater recognition of the child’s otherness. The author insists on the underlying narcissistic dynamics and is thus brought to question the notions of « handicap denial », of « grief for the lost imaginary child » and « the healing child », with some consequences as to the positions taken by professionals in relation to the families, both in treatment and in accompaniment.

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