The Attachment Trauma and Recovery Process of a New Immigrant Child: Applying the Mentalizing Perspective to Understand the Counseling ProcessFacilities
關鍵詞 Key words : 心智化 ； 依附創傷 ； 新住民之子 ； 創傷修復 ； attachment trauma ； mentalizing ； new immigrant children ； trauma recovery
Originating from psychoanalysis and attachment theory, mentalizing is a process of understanding others and oneself implicitly and explicitly in terms of subjective states and mental activity. The theory of mentalization has been widely applied to explore the origin, implication, and treatment of attachment trauma. Purpose: Given the special situation that new immigrant mothers or fathers may encounter in Taiwan, their children possibly experience attachment trauma. This paper, therefore, aims to explore the attachment trauma and the recovery process, with the assistance of counseling, of a child whose mother is an immigrant from mainland China. Method: We employed a case-report approach to analyze the attachment trauma and recovery process of a 17-year old female student. The student sought help because she was experiencing chaotic emotions and thinking, frequent crying, constant fear, withdrawal from social activities, and low motivation for school. She was diagnosed with depression disorder and referred for counseling. By establishing a secure relationship, mirroring, and containing, the counselor assisted the student to gain self-awareness, understand and differentiate herself from others, and to narrate and recover from her trauma. Results: Through 42 counseling sessions over a year, the student gradually transformed the relationship between herself and her trauma. Her self-awareness and self-confidence were enhanced. She regained motivation in school, and the ability to build relationships with others. Conclusions: Attachment trauma with the main care-giver can be healed by a secure relationship between clients and counselors. Patient's dysfunctional social relationships can be repaired through counseling. Based on the results of this case study, we propose three indicators of attachment trauma recovery: the patient's narrations of herself and trauma become coherent and consistent without being overwhelmed by emotions; the patient does not become apathetic to the content of the narration; and, the patient's sense of security increases and the relationships with the main care-giver and others improve.