Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Fedunina N.Yu. Book review. Anne Alvarez Live Company: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived and Abused Children, Routledge, 1992

Natalia Yu. Fedunina, Ph.D (Psychology), Center for sports technologies and training of sports teams of Moskomsport, Moscow, Russia; bld. 6, Sovetskaya Armii str., Moscow, Russia, 129272; Natalia_fedunina@mail.ru

Anne Alvarez’s book “Live Company: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived and Abused Children” (1992) has not yet been translated into Russian, but it is a classic of psychoanalytic thought and has made a huge contribution to understanding the inner world of autistic, psychotic and borderline children, as well as to the transformation of psychological treatment methods. Based on a detailed examination of the case of the autistic boy Robbie, Anne Alvarez describes the experience of understanding and working with patients who are practically inaccessible to the social world. Theoretical and technical issues related to the process of forming the image of a receptive object and identification with it, the development of the “I” with strength, will, intelligence, cognitive abilities are discussed. Alvarez relies on the theory of object relations, and again and again emphasizes that the center of her analytical thought and technique is not a solo, but a relationship, a duet. It shows how the experience of the separateness of the object and the safe separation of the “I” gradually develops, when the Object is not perceived as a continuation of the “I”, but begins to arouse feelings and interest. A deep understanding of the primitive sensory characteristics of the world of an autistic child makes it possible to touch the preverbal aspects of experience, the process of forming an internal “living company”, so necessary for mental development. Alvarez expands the analytical model of understanding and working with autistic, deprived, sexually abused patients, in which case the therapist must carry the living part of the “I” for the patient. One of the central concepts of the model is the concept of “perspective”, from which experience is perceived or acquired: the accessibility of the object, the possibility of its perception, proximity, etc. Within the framework of this concept, the specifics of the therapeutic technique necessary for the child to feel the hardness, stability, accessibility and reliability of the object are discussed, so that his own internal structures develop.

Key words: psychoanalysis, autism, Anne Alvarez

For citation: Fedunina, N.Yu. (2022). Book review. Anne Alvarez Live Company: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived and Abused Children, Routledge, 1992. New Psychological Research, No. 4, 208–214. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2022_02_04_10

keywords: psychoanalysis, autism, Anne Alvarez

received 30 December 2022

published 30 December 2022

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