Childhood grief

The objective of this article is a description of childhood grief from a psychodynamic and psychoanalytic perspective starting from the concept of mourning in Sigmund Freud. The studies of other authors who investigated the processes of separation, absence and grief in childhood, such as René Spitz, John Bowlby, Rebeca Grinberg, Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham are quoted. The clinical characteristics of the mourning experience according to age, psychic structuring and the child’s development are indicated, and the stages of mourning are described: the recognition of loss, the disinvestment of the lost object and the victory of narcissism, the desire of living despite the loss. The importance of considering the subjectivity of the suffering child and the family context for the correct therapeutic work is underlined as well.

Keywords
Mourning, childhood, evolutive development

Antonio Pombo
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