Chico Center for Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy and Counseling services for Children & Adults | Support for Parents


Chico therapist An Bulkens, LMFT is psychotherapist and counselor in Chico, California.  An Bulkens specializes in psychotherapy and counseling for young children  (toddlers, preschoolers, adolescents) and support for parents, with a special emphasis on  early childhood psychotherapy, and counseling  for preschoolers and Kindergarten aged child.  She also offers parenting skills support. She offers psychoanalytic psychotherapy for adults.  Her approach is grounded in  Lacanian Psychoanalysis. She was also trained as a clinical psychologist in Europe, Belgium.  Her education emphasized developmental psychology and psychoanalytic therapy. 

Lucie: a tiny vignette

This is a small clinical vignette by Philippe Lacadee, originally published in French.

Lucie is a 9 year old child, who enters the therapist's office one day very excited with the complaint that her mother does not want to 'abondon' her to a magazine. In french the words for 'abandon' (abandonner)  and 'getting a subscription' (abonner) are very close. When the therapist gives her back her own words, 'She does not want to abandon you?' Lucy is irritated and replies that the therapist never understands anything. 'I am talking about the magazine. Mom does not want me to subscribe to it.' 

Lucie knows the word for subscription in her mother tongue, but somehow she can only understand her being as 'abandonned' by the Other, incarnated by the mother. To receive from the mother the magazine, instead of her presence that would be the sign of abandonment by the Other who leaves her alone. So, she fears that if the mother would say yes to her demand, that she would not be 'subscribed' to her mother anymore. 

This resonates with the importance to not always say no to a child's request. This is something I have been emphasizing in earlier posts. For Lucie a yes, can mean an abandonment by the Other. At this point in the treatment Lucy is not ready to give up her attachment to the position of being abandonned. We hear that it is she who does not want to be abandonned by the mother. 

An Bulkens    |    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist    |   MFC 52746

Tel. (530) 321- 2970    |   186 E 12th ST,  Chico, CA 95928