Jeanne Magagna

Tavistock Clinic

Jeanne Magagna, Phd., is a Taivstock Clinic trained Child, Adult and Family Psychotherapist who was the Head of Psychotherapy Services at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London where she specialised in working with children and families where there was an eating disorder, psychosis, or pervasive retreat from life. Her special area of interest is the application of infant observation and its value for understanding the non-verbalized feelings present in clinical work, early intervention and paediatric assessments. She teaches and publishes internationally. Jeanne is the Joint Editor of Intimate Transformations:Babies with their Families and Editor of The Silent Child: Communication without Words. She is also a co-editor of Being Present for your Nursery Age Child, Creativity and Psychotic States, Psychotherapy with Families and Universals of Psychoanalysis. These books have been published in French, Spanish and English.
Her forthcoming book is The Psychotherapeutic Understanding of Children with Eating Difficulties: Freeing the Imprisoned Self. Jeanne works and writes for an international community.



Relating to the Anorectic Young Person

This publication focuses upon the omnipotent part of the anorectic personality. An example from parent-infant interaction illustrates what happens inside a child experiencing misattunement. This is followed by a description of the omnipotent destructive part of the personality which impedes the development of intimate relationships with family, friends and therapist. Ways of working with the non-speaking child and the child using omnipotent control of anorexia nervosa will be considered.
The use of the therapist’s countertransference as an important therapeutic instrument will be highlighted. Also attention to the child’s emotional experiences stored in the non-declarative aspects of the personality will be given. In particular, there will be a description of diefferent ways of interpreting through tone of voice and way of describing emotions as the child goes through various developmental phases of the therapy.