Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
Print version ISSN 0034-7450
JORDAN QUINTERO, Martha Isabel et al. From Being "Completely Teletubbie" to Being Veronica: Usefulness of Observation Sessions (Diagnostic Sessions) in Tracing the Evolutionary Process of a Mental Suffering. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.38, suppl.1, pp. 82-98. ISSN 0034-7450.
Introduction: In this study an evolutionary model of the disorders and the development of psychism is used, that allows achiving an overall vision of the patient and which combines not only what could contribute to genetics, but all the distortions resulting from experiences with the environment. The theories about psychic development have shown that the birth, building and organization of the psychism of an individual must be understood as an evolutionary progression. Objective: To show, by means of an observation session, how the psychic organization of a female patient and the subsequent evolution of her disorders may be understood. Method: Observing an individual case of interaction between a female patient and her mother, grandmother and a work team. Subsequently this team discussed different hypothesis that emerged from the understanding of the relationships between the patient’s psicopathology and the psychic development theories. Results: In this case the diagnosis of autism, with which the patient was remitted, was ruled out because the symptoms of this patient could be seen from the perspective of first interpersonal relationships. Current theories on psychic development allow understanding that it is not "just something that she got", but that it started developing very early in the emotional life of this being. Conclusion: In this observation session it is apparent how these visits, which initially were established to reach a diagnosis, lead to a deep understanding of the patient that, when shared with her parents, have a therapeutic effect and become "therapeutic consultations" as those proposed by D.W. Winnicott.
Keywords : Observation; child development; diagnostic errors; child.