Childhood and memory: the river running through us

View author details View Less
  • 1 Austen Riggs Center, USA, Universidad de Monterrey, Mexicoand Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, USA
Restricted access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

Identity forms in relation to the interpersonal narratives through which our histories are constructed. Psychoanalysis affords opportunities to reconsider important relationships from different vantage points and to recognise how these relationships have informed meanings and being. Entering psychoanalysis invites direct engagement with this universe of childhood, memory, meanings and also the gaps left by trauma and neglect. In this article, I consider ways in which those gaps have been active forces driving my journey towards a more competent, facilitative and generative mentoring than had been available to me. Revisioning my story entailed an exploration of the ways in which my mother’s absent presence haunted me almost invisibly, so that the threads were left to emerge and transform over time in relation to my own development. This transformation was made possible by psychoanalysis and self-analysis, and also through meeting my mother from the other side, so to speak, as I found myself at the maternal edge of the various developmental precipices she and I had traversed together. This process of re-envisioning has left its mark in ways that now call to others needing a type of validation that has not been easily forthcoming. I will discuss how a process of marked mirroring enabled one woman to find what she needed in me in ways that enhanced the development of each. That experience has informed my current ideas regarding pedagogy and the ways in which an embodied, aesthetically driven maternal perspective may enhance the largely paternalistic canon of psychoanalytic thought and pedagogy.

  • Bion, W.R. (1977) Seven Servants, Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson.

  • Charles, M. (2011) What does a woman want?, Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society, 16(4): 33753. doi: 10.1057/pcs.2010.20

  • Charles, M. (2014) Shame and the possibility of insight, in Working with Trauma: Lessons from Bion and Lacan, Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, pp 2935.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Felman, S. (1993) What Does a Woman Want: Reading and Sexual Difference, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • Hillman, J. (2005) Senex & Puer: Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman, Vol 3, Putnam, CT: Spring Publications.

  • Lacan, J. (1981) The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, J.A. Miller (ed), A. Sheridan (trans), New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

  • Lacan, J. (2016) The Sinthome: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XXIII, J.A. Miller (ed), A.R. Price (trans), Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Milner, M. (1987) The Suppressed Madness of Sane Men: Forty-four Years of Exploring Psychoanalysis, London: Tavistock.

  • Tomkins, S.S. (1963) Affect, Imagery, Consciousness – Volume II: The Negative Affects, New York, NY: Springer.

  • Winnicott, D.W. (1971) Playing and Reality, London: Hogarth Press.

  • Woolf, V. (1931) The Waves, London: Hogarth Press.

  • 1 Austen Riggs Center, USA, Universidad de Monterrey, Mexicoand Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, USA

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 122 122 7
Full Text Views 124 124 74
PDF Downloads 121 121 69