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Kennedy, H. (1979). The Role Of Insight In Child Analysis: A Developmental Viewpoint. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 27S(Supplement):9-28.

(1979). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 27S(Supplement):9-28

The Role Of Insight In Child Analysis: A Developmental Viewpoint

Hansi Kennedy

SOME TIME AGO I CONCLUDED a short paper on "Problems in Reconstruction in Child Analysis" (1971) by suggesting that our interpretive interventions are aimed at enabling the child to resolve conflicts impeding his development, rather than at giving the child insights into what happened to him in the past. My argument emphasized the fact that young children usually forget whatever insights they acquire during their analysis, even though their developmental progress is satisfactory. Since that time it has been increasingly clear to me that I omitted to explore the kind of insights children acquire during analysis and their capacities for doing so during different developmental stages.

This realization provided the motivation for starting, some eighteen months ago, a small study group whose purpose was to closely scrutinize the role of insight in child analysis. Our findings form the basis of this paper, and I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to all the participants on whose contributions and clinical material I have freely drawn. Nevertheless, the views expressed are my own and are not necessarily shared by other members of the group.


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