Contents & abstracts


Nascent forms of parenthood: risks for development and processes of support-provision

Bruno G. Introduction. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 237-245.

Rossi M. Fragments from an experience of baby observation. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 246-258.

For the child psychotherapist undergoing psychoanalytic training, the experience of baby observation constitutes a structuring and deeply enriching phase. This because it makes it possible to observe the quality of the primary bond between mother and child in their natural environment. The article faithfully reconstructs some views through the observation ‘window’ in order to show - from up close – how such a bond is built in a “good enough” situation where mother and baby daughter learn how to regulate their reciprocal rhythms as they go. Through a circular form of ‘dialogue’ partly supported by an environment that has prepared the ground well for the mother-child couple, the mother shows herself to be capable of interpreting her baby daughter’s needs and responding to them both appropriately and creatively, thereby allowing her – gradually, through a loving separation process – to set off towards her journey in individuation and self-discovery.

Manfredi E, Marzullo C. The transformation of noise into harmony: therapeutic listening during the covid emergency and baby observation. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 259-267.

The article refers to an intervention offering support to a young woman who was pregnant during the pandemic and to a subsequent experience of baby observation that began a few days after the birth. Organized into two distinct periods and adopting different methods that nevertheless all shared a psychoanalytic approach, the work fostered and supported transformative aspects of a nascent relationship that was potentially at risk.

Fiore C. From winter’s darknesss to the first faint warmth of spring: the birth of a mother-child relationship. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 268-277.

The author uses the narration of a clinical case to describe an intervention that supported the nascent relationship between a particularly fragile and vulnerable mother and her baby son, who was not only born critically pre-term but was also the object of heavy maternal projections and phantasies about damage.

Owing to the considerable resistance the therapist encountered when starting off the mother-child therapy at her practice, the journey in parenting-support was initially undertaken by way of home-visiting and then evolved into conversations exclusively conducted remotely.

The article seeks to demonstrate the profoundly effective nature of the psychoanalytical method that necessarily had to remodulate the consolidated parameters of a classic setting, shaping itself and adapting to the demands of a particularly delicate family situation presenting a high risk of becoming psychopathological. This whilst preserving the theoretico-clinical cornerstones of reference intact.

Giarrizzo C. The empty nest: the story of a perinatal bereavement. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 278-285.

The article describes a clinical case involving a couple living with a perinatal bereavement. It was possible to work through this traumatic experience adequately thanks to a timely intervention, some excellent personal resources in the patients and their attunement with the therapist. The experience became the opportunity for reflection about the specific nature both of the bereavement in question and of the resources that were activated during sessions, thereby opening the door to the possibility of growing and changing. Benefitting from a warm and welcoming therapeutic space, the couple was able to regenerate its own vital space – experienced, during the trauma, as something deadly – by clearing it of ghosts and creating the potential for growth as persons and parents.

Gangi S. Transforming the unthinkable into creative experience. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 286-292.

The article draws on the author’s twenty years of experience as a psychologist and psychotherapist working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the “Umberto I” General Hospital in Rome. The author highlights not only the traumatic experience of a pre-term birth for the newborn and his/her parents but also the importance both of the latters’ first viewings of their child and of the indispensable support provided by the entire hospital team. The type of intervention used with families during the difficult moment of a sick child’s birth is made clear through a clinical case.

Clinical reflections

Carratelli TI, Spinola O. Let’s play at playing, drawing and remembering in “short-term”,

“focussed” psychoanalytic psychotherapy during the latency period. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 293-308.

In this article, the authors present a case of short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy with an eleven-year-old girl who came for a consultation after developing hysterical symptoms that were the delayed expression of a frozen mourning relating to the death of her father.

The authors begin by succinctly presenting the theoretical bases for and features of a short-term psychoanalytic treatment and referring readers to previous publications for greater depth of detail. They then describe the various phases of the short-term therapy with the girl, paying particular attention to the role that playing assumed in the treatment, aimed as it was at fostering a recovery of some important themes in mourning: time, pain, memory and oblivion.

Finally, they highlight how, although of its very nature unsaturated, the work seems to have succeeded in protecting the patient from a pathological oscillation between manic drift and a hysterical type of melancholic identification with the father she had lost. The therapy fostered the beginning of a process of working through the loss symbolically.

Fattirolli E. From the bottom of the sea to relationship. Listening to the unrepresented states. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 309-325.

Using clinical material taken from the psychotherapeutic work with a little girl diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder, the article explores the moment at which - during an advanced phase of the psychotherapy - the child’s emergence from the autistic state and initial opening to relationhip occurred. This is a delicate phase in psychotherapy because it can often cause the emergence during sessions - through acting out and enactment - of what has been a very early catastrophic, traumatic experience lived as a threat to life. The author emphasises the complex journey towards the representation of such an experience and the importance of working in parallel with the parents.

The Enchanting Screen

Robert M, Ronconi S. Bones and all (2022). Directed by Luca Guadagnino. Richard & Piggle,

31, 3, 2023, 326-329.

Pascale Langher F. Return to Seoul (2022). Directed by Davy Chou. Richard & Piggle, 31, 3, 2023, 330-333.


Recommended reading

Contents & abstracts