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Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 2340-2733Print version ISSN 0211-5735


LEAL RUBIO, José. On fragility and tenderness: sustaining and accompanying childhood and adolescence. (Reflections on a paternal violence case.). Rev. Asoc. Esp. Neuropsiq. [online]. 2021, vol.41, n.139, pp.187-210.  Epub Oct 04, 2021. ISSN 2340-2733.

Original helplessness marks the vulnerable condition in the subject. Tenderness is the condition for care and requires the perception of the structural frailty of being. When tenderness has not been established, the individual is left helpless and exposed to a loneliness that damages, from the very beginning, their way of being in the world. The adult that accompanies the baby, later the child, and later the adolescent, mobilizes his or her experience before the hurt demand that is looking for protection. He or she will be able to meet such a demand if what is moved in him/her are experiences of contention and is moved by that demand. When this is not the case, a situation of risk may arise.

From a story of violence of a father towards his baby, I bring up a series of reflections on frailty, social determinants in upbringing, and the ways with which, from the clinical settings and other places, this helplessness could be coped. Far from being a problem, the acceptance of this vulnerable and lacking condition of being opens a path for building collective care.

Keywords : original helplessness; vulnerable condition; tenderness; violence.

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