ABSTRACT

In my work in a NHS psychotherapeutic day clinic I see women who have suffered serious trauma as children. That trauma overshadows their whole life. They know something is very wrong, but they don’t know what it is. All around them are other women who seem happy with their babies; they think that perhaps having a baby will make them also happy, and when that does not happen, that disturbs them even more, and after the birth they become depressed. When they come into treatment, they bring their babies with them, and so I have both the mother’s internal baby and the real baby in the consulting-room. The insecure patterns of relating that the mother has suffered are vividly demonstrated in her interaction with her child. Before my eyes I see the damage the mother has suffered being handed on to the next generation.