Jeanne Magagna

Tavistock Clinic

Jeanne Magagna was Head of Psychotherapy Services at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children for twenty-two years. She also worked for ten years at Ellern Mede Centre for Eating Disorders in London. She received professional qualifications as a child, adult and family psychotherapist and a doctorate from the Tavistock Clinic. Formerly, Jeanne was the vice-president and joint coordinator of training for the Centro Studi Martha Harris Tavistock model trainings in Florence and Venice. She edited Universals of Psychoanalysis and jointly edited Psychotherapy with Families and Intimate Transformations: Babies with their Families (Karnac Books, 2004). Her special interest is applying the understandings of infant observation to work with children suffering from communication difficulties and anorexia nervosa.

The Imprisoned Self: Work with eating disordered young people

This presentation regarding the psychotherapy with eating disordered young people describes the way in which a young person uses omnipotent control in lieu of the capacity to be identified with parental figures looking after the infantile aspects of the self. The range of crucial therapeutic issues regarding individual psychotherapy discussed are: providing an appropriate setting for treatment, assessing the severity of the child’s underlying psychopathology and the aims of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Subsequently particular phases of therapeutic development and typical problems for the therapist are delineated. Emphasis is on the need to evaluate both internal psychic development and directly.