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Letter - 2

Dr. Henderson
Dependency Unit
Psychiatric Division
New York Hospital
Westchester, New York

February 7, 1939

DRAFT - retype and address

Helen Marot:

As I told you I have encouraged him on some drawings as therapy. I am enclosing a few drawings he has done for your edification. You wondered in your last inquiry why this has not brought about a change in his behavior. You wonder why I neglected to find out, study, or analyze his personal problems during the first year of his work. . In response I can only ask for your patience and assure you that we are making headway. This process is long and we cannot expect any immediate results.

The reason why I did not seem to cure his alcoholism, is that I have decided that because his unconscious drawings brought me strongly into a state of counter transference to the symbolic material he produced, I was compelled to follow the movement of his symbolism, as he was motivated to produce it. To focus on the cause rather than the symptoms.

In the first one, the crucifixion, the patient appears to have been in a state similar to the novice in a tribal initiation rite during which he is ritually dismembered at the onset of an ordeal whose goal is to change him from a boy to a man.

While you will note that in no. 57, the upper part of the drawing shows a continuing split and a probable state of deprivation on the upper personal level of his life. Those pathetic upper limbs reaching upward toward an unfeeling purely schematic female torso must denote a problem left unresolved and perhaps insoluble, a frustrated longing for the all giving mother. He had suffered isolation from early childhood and this had not yet been adequately compensated.

In closing I assure you that I am addressing these and other issues in an ongoing dialog. But again I ask for your patience. What Jackson needs more than anything else right now is your support and friendship during this frustrating and difficult time.


Dr. Henderson

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