The present paper primarily focuses on the perception of the concept of family in adolescents and young adults in substitute care and its perceived values. The main aim is to describe the theoretical framework and the basis for understanding how a child in substitute care and a child growing up in the biological family perceive the family. The authors carried out a research project on the given subject, whereas, its aim was to examine the perceptual and value apparatus of a child growing up in substitute care in relation to the family construct. The collection of qualitative data was done by a semi-structured interview and adolescents´ responses were digitally recorded and transcribed. As far as examination of the close family members´ constellation, the semi-projective method – Drawing The Family Tree Test was used, whereas, it also provides information about family-related anxiety. It seems that the primary attachment figures really appear in the perception of the closest people, or in the perception of the family (not just biological) in adolescents in substitute care. Their attachment figures are often the staff of the institution in which they grow up, and parents, or biological relatives in their perception are absent. On the contrary, siblings with a similar fate belong to the close relation framework of the participants.
The content of this scientific study is based on the qualitative analysis of selected answers of parents, in the framework of semi-structured interview. The qualitative research is apart of bigger research work P-155/A, dealing with mental health of children in family and school settings. The main goal is to learn and analyse the empirical experience and views of participants, related to joint custody and shared care. The research sample consisted of randomly selected 9 participants who visited Výskumný ústav detskej psychológie apatopsychológie on behalf of some problems regarding custody after divorce/separation. In this contribution the parents´ attitudes towards mutual communication of former partners/parents, functioning of joint custody and shared care and some views related to some limits in this form of shared parenting have been analysed. Some valuable remarks with regard to the need of multi-professional team work, addressed to parents within the process of their divorce/separation proved to be very useful. Parents proposed they would extremely welcome some more help from mental health professionals and their crises intervention actions.
On behalf of discussion we notice that the juridical institute of joint custody and shared care is a very important tool, however, some legislative changes of this law should be still done. Concluding the study, we state that in spite of some methodological problems – like a limited number of research participants, we believe that the results can serve as a basis for the next deeper research, bringing more proposals for improvement in this field.
Aleksandra Krukowska, Artur Poczwardowski and Dariusz Parzelski
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The work of mourning and organization of the mental space may be seriously disturbed by the real loss of the object and the way how communication with the “still alive” objects is built. Certain obstacles in communication with significant people make the mental separation difficult. The problem of separation, individuation and building of somebody’s own mental space is linked to the way in which the child mourns in relation to the central objects of early childhood. Especially the real loss of a parental object during the early childhood implies a traumatic moment which will excessively dramatize the oedipal issues. In this context, the analysis of the infantile material and development of an analytical work, which would perlaborate the trauma of the loss under a full oedipal conflict of one of the parents, as well as the subjectivation difficulties deriving from this trauma are the indispensable elements of a psychoanalytic work.
Midlife is an age of crisis according to many authors, as it sets the subject up against the inevitability of the ageing process, loss, and the limitedness of life. Most authors view midlife as an age of crisis where everything can be staked back into the game. But some other authors have highlighted how midlife is characterised by a new burst of creativity, by new object investments and by a redressing of the balance between narcissism (which decreases) and object investments for which a larger share of the libido becomes available. The Author thinks that it seems worthwhile to make a distinction between midlife, as indicative of a phase of life, and maturity, construed as a psychic position which is relatively independent of age.
Therefore, she explores the creativity area of the trans-generational transmission, quoting some psychoanalysts and poets, and introducing a clinical example of the mourning process for losses inherent in the passing of time and the development of tolerance capacities to deal with a change in the balance between the libido and narcissism.
Then the Author affords a specific difficulty in transmitting a trans-generational mandate, when the treatment concerns cases of severe trauma, like victims of collective trauma and mass murders. What can be transmitted in these cases if the psychological concatenation between the generations is interrupted and breaks down? How can it be linked up again? The story and re-elaboration by Henri Parens is brought as an example to be studied and commented.