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Why Can’t We See It?
The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child  (IF0.089),  Pub Date : 2020-01-01, DOI: 10.1080/00797308.2020.1690872
Neal Spira

ABSTRACT The relevance of a patient’s experience of physical punishment in childhood may be obscured and difficult to acknowledge for both patient and analyst. This paper illustrates my own struggle with the issue by presenting excerpts of my work with an adult analytic patient, children in a mental health clinic, and PTSD patients in the Veterans Administration system. In the discussion that follows I demonstrate how the psychoanalytic concept of disavowal can be useful in expanding our ability to engage in meaningful discussions with our patients regarding this issue.