Transmissão psíquica das experiências transicionais em três gerações de famílias de crianças obesas [Psychic transmission of transitional experiences in three generations of families of obese children]

PADILHA, C. R. M. Transmissão psíquica das experiências transicionais em três gerações de famílias de crianças obesas [Psychic transmission of transitional experiences in three generations of families of obese children]. Master’s Dissertation. Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (SP), 2019.

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Obesity is a complex, chronic and multifactorial disease. The etiology encompasses the psychological factors of the individual, which are within the scope of their family relationships. In a psychoanalytic perspective, the mother is essential for the construction of the baby’s self and she has a history that permeates and impacts the care it offers to him. Her story includes the immediate and distant relationship with ascendants, through the generational psychic transmission process. The capacity to enjoy experiences and transitional phenomena integrates the process of self constitution, being transmitted from mother to child, because nothing escapes the generational psychic transmission process. As childhood obesity would be related to the difficulty of reaching creative living (the transitional experiences), this study aimed to understand the process of psychic transmission of the capacity for transitional experiences in three generations of two families in which there was an obese child. The approach used was the clinical-qualitative and the theoretical-methodological was psychoanalytic referential. This is the case study of two families, one with more than one obese member and one with the child only. Family 1’s participants were the maternal grandmother, the paternal grandmother, the maternal grandfather, the child’s mother and the 9-years-old-child diagnosed with obesity. Family 2’s participants were the maternal grandmother, the child’s mother and the 10-year-old child diagnosed with obesity. They were reached through a specialized service for the treatment of childhood obesity. The data collection instruments were a semi structured interview (for adults) and the Drawing-and-Story Procedure (for all members). All instruments were applied individually. The material was transcribed and analyzed by means of the free inspection method of the material. Individual psychodiagnoses were made of the participants, describing their psychodynamics and the capacity to enjoy the transitional experiences. Subsequently, a cross-diagnostic synthesis of the family was delineated, in order to interconnect the assessments of the members. In the discussion, Winnicott’s theory was articulated with the contributions of the Psychoanalysis Linkage approach to the transgenerational psychic transmission. The results showed that the members of the two families experienced obstacles in their process of emotional maturation, to different degrees. The capacity to enjoy transitional experiences was passed down through the generations and reverberated in the process of transmitting physical inheritances. The larger this capacity, the greater the transformation of inheritances, the greater the possibility of constitution of individual subjectivities and the less the formation of defensive alliances that express themselves through symptoms. The history of grief was determinant in transgenerational psychic transmission. Unconscious family functioning can be a producer and maintainer of the child’s symptom, although in this research it has assumed a different meaning within each family. The presence of other members with obesity in a family, signaled that obesity extrapolates genetic transmission and reveals the precariousness in the symbolization of difficult experiences, dragged along the generations. The proposal of understanding emotional suffering from the link theory is presented as essential for clinical intervention, by focusing on the intersubjective aspect, and broadens the Winnicottian theory, making understandable the bases of the parental difficulties that can cause damage in the constitution of the child Self. A space conducive to listening and speaking that allows the development of transitional capacities of the family would enable the work of psychic elaboration of the traumatic unconscious legacies that sustain emotional suffering.

Walter Trinca Copyright 2001 – All rights reserved.

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