Organization of Therapeutical Space: Setting Functions and Analyst Role in «Mother-child» Group for Children with Developmental Disorders and ASD



This paper presents some ideas about setting, i.e. organization and functions of «mother-child» psychanalytic group, psychanalist's role, and parenthood's help . Authors propose dynamic modification of setting. This modification helps to diagnose and to modify inadequate mother-child relational patterns. For describing groupal functions, a metaphoric «enveloppe groupale» of Didier Anzieu being used: setting as a live membrane performs transformational and supporting functions. Setting includes all conditions of therapeutical organization, divided in external (pratical and permanent ), and internal (garanteed by analytical position of master). Both maternal and paternal aspects of internal setting are explained. Maternal, as protective shield, creation of a psychic enveloppe; paternal, as rules and prohibitions, breaking infantile omnipotence, and starting child's socialization. The last part shows how this program helps parents modifying their parental position and authority

General Information

Keywords: setting, internal and external setting, ego-skin, groupal envelope, setting dynamical modifications, maternal and paternal aspects of setting, symbolical payment

Journal rubric: Methods and Techniques

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Hiers L., Papsueva O. Organization of Therapeutical Space: Setting Functions and Analyst Role in «Mother-child» Group for Children with Developmental Disorders and ASD [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2015. Vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 89–109. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

L. Hiers, Clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, CMP, France, e-mail:

O. Papsueva, Psychologist, psychoanalyst, IPA Direct Member, training analyst, Esther Bick’s Infant Observation seminar leader, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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