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Sexual abuse: case studies of incest

Bibiana Godoi Malgarim Silvia Pereira da Cruz Benetti About the authors

The psychoanalytical contribution to the comprehension of the impact of sexual abuse on psychic functioning is based upon the identification of the uniqueness of the defensive strategy when faced with traumatic anxiety. Accordingly, the aim of this work was to understand the mental processes involved in psychic functioning based on psychoanalytical theory, as well as the impact of the traumatic process on psychic functioning in the case of two girls referred to a special center for sexual abuse victims. Diagnostic playtime interviews and projective tests, such as Rorschach and the House-Tree-Person drawing test were employed. It was ascertained that the functioning of the girls was characterized by a dissociative dynamic of coping with trauma and by an ambivalent identification process, which affected the subjects' symbolic abilities. In conclusion, psychotherapy for victims of sexual abuse is an essential resource for the field of mental health.

Sexual abuse; Female; Projective techniques

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas Núcleo de Editoração SBI - Campus II, Av. John Boyd Dunlop, s/n. Prédio de Odontologia, 13060-900 Campinas - São Paulo Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 19 3343-7223 - Campinas - SP - Brazil