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The Transient Interactive Communication Approach

by Maria Leticia Castrechini Fernandes Franieck

The first step for one’s integration in society is being able to communicate and be understood. However, when it comes to deprived individuals, communication often fails. This is in large part due to their difficulties in expressing their emotions and thoughts – be it because they are unable to pinpoint what they feel or because they are unwilling to share it. Therefore, tools that help practitioners facilitate communication with such individuals is underscored. With this aim TICA and T-WAS were developed. More precisely TICA is a means of communication for adults, while T-WAS is for 6-13 year old children.

Is Communication always the same for everyone?

The work with at risk patient/clients (e.g. with people displaying anti-social tendencies, traumatized refugees, and deprived children/youth people) requires an advanced understanding of communication approach, as their communication is characterized by massive discharge of emotions with very personal meanings, thus the risk of a miscommunication with severe consequences is high.

As a result the feeling of frustration arises from both sides and the communication fails.

Macdougall, 1993,pp. 116–117¹

"Communication is a vital relationship with the Other and culminate in the desire of inform someone of something. It implies a way of conveying and discharging emotions in direct manner, with the purpose of affecting and arousing reactions in the Other, hence with crucial personal symbolic functions."

Maude, 2016 pP.19:²
"Miscommunication occurs when there is a mismatch between what the speaker intend his words to mean and how the hearer interprets them."
Communication with vulnerable patients
A Novel Psychological Approach
Communicating with Vulnerable Patients explores ways to improve the communication process between highly vulnerable patients and the therapist, based on the assumption of the permanent presence of an ‘outsider’ or potential space in the communication field between them. In this space, the therapist and highly vulnerable patients can undergo transitional states of mind established between and within their relationship.


(a variation of TICA)

by Maria Leticia Castrechini Fernandes Franieck and Niko Bittner

Together We Are Strong or T-WAS – is a variation of TICA, an alternative form of a preventive group work with 6-13 year old deprived children against the increase of antisocial behavioural tendencies and focused on strengthening resilience and free from any kind of previous diagnosis.

As an approach, T-WAS emphasises both corrective attachment experiences and the processing of ongoing experiences of aggression, paradoxical situations, ambiguities and diversities experienced within the group.

In the summer of 2019, T-WAS was presented as a community work project at the 51st Congress of the International Psychoanalytic Association in London, UK; under the title "Mama! Papa! Where are you? Are you still there? What's wrong with you?"

In the summer 2023, T-WAS was presented as a work on promotion and prevention in community context at 18th World Congress for the World Association for Infant Mental Health in Dublin, Ireland under the title “'Together We Are Strong' to avoid an increase of antisocial behavioural tendencies in deprived children”.

Advantage and disadvantage of T-WAS

Advantage: T-WAS is an inexpensive and preventive group activity that provides immediate and easy benefits for children in their local area. It can therefore be implemented in schools, childcare facilities, etc.

Disadvantage: It requires tenacious resilience on the part of the eclectic group leaders over the two-year period. To meet the guidelines of some organisations, some games may have to be adapted.

Psychosoziale Gruppenarbeit mit benachteiligten Kindern (German)
Paarleitung und kreatives Spiel
‘Together We Are Strong’ or T-WAS is a preventive group work with deprived children against the increase of antisocial behavioural tendencies and focused on strengthening resilience. Its means are primarily based on the development of object relations (ego-relatedness) by providing the children with new experiences of self in relation to others during the ongoing creative games – hence the roles of the group leaders are crucial.

¹ McDougall, J., 1993. Countertransference and Primitive Communication. In: A. Alexandris and G. Vaslamatzis, eds. Countertransference: Theory, Technique, Teaching. London: Karnac, 95–134.

² Maude, B. (2016/2011). Managing Cross-Cultural Communication: Principles and Practice. London: Palgrave.

Get in touch!
Phone: +49 (0)160 995 31797
Get in touch!
E-mail: tica.learn-more(at)