By means of some clinical fragments from the play therapy of a five year old boy, we explore the concept of interpretation, using the visions of various authors to instruct us. We consider the determination and the passion in Klein’s interpretative work. Dolto teaches us to interpret by asking questions. Both principles guide us in our work with Erik until he says: “Leave me alone!” and expresses that our questions are obstructing his play. He doesn’t want to talk, only to play but Dolto asserts that children do not come to analysis to play but to work. Suddenly, we have lost our framework for interpretation. What should we do? Winnicott helps by pointing out that play can facilitate in-depth psychoanalytic work without interpretation. We explore this principle throughout the case study of Erik. In particular, we wish to highlight the dangers associated with interpretations inspired by a preconceived idea.
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