Renée-Laeticia Richaud : sylvie-christine, a reaction

Listening to a presentation of a case of mutism and a family secret in a day hospital, it seems to me that an adolescent girl is managing to make her caregivers live through what she herself can neither experience, nor think, nor talk about. During the presentation, the clinical work goes on like a demonstration: the presenters’ slips-of-the-tongue lead to a continuation of the work of putting into thought, and the counter-transference brings about an exploration of the necessity for audacious daydreams, not in order to consider them as truths, but to free the caregivers’ thoughts from the prohibition of thinking that weighed upon them as much as upon the teenaged girl. The approach to troubles of narcissism and identification may benefit from being freely redloyed in this way by the analyst, both in his capacity to make himself into a good enough malleable medium, and in his hypotheses concerning the transgenerational heritage and the impact of parental narcissism, especially when pain create avoidance of the thought. Once again, a grave pathology gives us an approach to more common problems.