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The Impact of Divorce on Children: The View from the Perch of Adulthood
The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child  (IF0.089),  Pub Date : 2019-01-01, DOI: 10.1080/00797308.2019.1556022
Claudia Lament

ABSTRACT If we take the question: “How does divorce impact the child who grows into an adult?” and turn it on its head, we are looking at the patient from an entirely different point of view, namely: “What does the adult herself bring to the circumstance of a divorce that occurred in her childhood? How might that adult—in her childhood past with the anticipated immaturities in ego functioning—have assembled her perception of divorce at different stages of growth?” In this paper, I focus on how the analyst of such adult patients must consider, imaginatively, that the event of divorce, the memories of it, the growing sophistication of symbolic mentation, representations of self and others, were continuously transformed in the patient’s mind, time and time again, over the long course of the developmental passage. I share my thinking about the application of this developmental perspective to the clinical situation.