In this talk, I will start with some theoretical ideas mostly about Asperger’s Syndrome since – in this context – much has already been said on autism. The little boy Pilar had a diagnosis of Asperger’s as well as hyperactivity and was first seen together with his parents in the context of the Underfive’s short Counselling Service, which is part of the National Health Service in England, then in open-ended family psychotherapy. He was referred to a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service by his speech therapist for severe language delay and poor concentration. The treatment offered to Pilar together with his parents (he was the only child) was psychoanalytic, but aided by behavioural interventions necessary to contain and support these “lost” parents in search of concrete answers. Detailed session material will be presented as well as references to the concurrent issues of immigration, losses, cultural habits, bilingualism and early maternal depression, which all contributed to Pilar’s disturbance. The family treatment lasted about one and-a-half year and led to enough changes in parents and child to allow individual psychotherapy for Pilar to be possible.
Dr. Maria Pozzi Monzo
was born in Italy, has been living in London since 1979. She was trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic and adult psychotherapist at the British Association of Psychotherapy – now BPF. She has worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for over 30 years and privately and has specialised in parent-infant psychotherapy. Worked for Parent Infant Psychotherapists (PIP)-UK in Enfield for three years, then volunteered in Underfives’ services. She is a training child and adolescent psychotherapist (Tavistock, BPF, Parent Infant Clinic, Italy and Switzerland) and lectures in England and abroad; she has published extensively on her clinical work. Her most recent books are: “The Buddha and the Baby” and “Neurodevelopmental Parent-Infant Psychotherapy and Mindfulness”. She is married with no children. She won the Third Annual International Frances Tustin Memorial Prize and Lectureship, 1999, in Los Angeles with her paper: “The Use of Observation in the Treatment of a Twelve-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s Syndrome”.