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June 01 , 2011

A History of Child Psychoanalysis


Child analysis has occupied a special place in the history of psychoanalysis because of the challenges it poses to practitioners and the clashes it has provoked among its advocates. Since the early days in Vienna under Sigmund Freud child psychoanalysts have tried to comprehend and make comprehensible to others the psychosomatic troubles of childhood and to adapt clinical and therapeutic approaches to all the stages of development of the baby, the child, the adolescent and the young adult.

Claudine and Pierre Geissmann trace the history and development of child analysis over the last century and assess the contributions made by pioneers of the discipline, whose efforts to expand its theoretical foundations led to conflict between schools of thought, most notably to the rift between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein.

Now taught and practised widely in Europe, the USA and South America, child and adolescent psychoanalysis is unique in the insight it gives into the psychological aspects of child development, and in the therapeutic benefits it can bring both to the child and its family.

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