Farting as a defence against unspeakable dread, Sidoli M
JOURNAL OF ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY 41: (2) 165-178 APR 1996
This paper describes some features of the behaviour of a severely disturbed adopted latency boy. Peter was born premature, suffered several early hospitalizations and surgical operations, and at 2 months of age was removed from his mother's care by Social Services for neglect and abandonment.
Although his subsequent development has been clouded by a series of losses and sudden changes of caregivers, Peter has maintained an unexpected desire to relate, showing considerable innate resilience. When feeling endangered, Peter had developed a defensive olfactive container using his bodily smell and farts to envelop himself in a protective cloud of familiarity against the dread of falling apart, and to hold his personality together.
In the paper Fordham's views of development and Anzieu's concept of psychic envelopes constitute the theoretical underpinning. Bion's concepts of beta- and alpha-elements are discussed in relation to Jung's views on symbolic development and psychological containment.
Author Keywords: adoption, dread, neglect, resilience, sensuous olfactive object
Addresses: SOC ANALYT PSYCHOL, LONDON, ENGLAND. Publisher: ROUTLEDGE, LONDON IDS Number: UT493 ISSN: 0021-8774