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(1986). Commentary from a member of the Anna Freud Centre. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(1):85-87.

(1986). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(1):85-87

Commentary from a member of the Anna Freud Centre Related Papers

The background provides us with an outline of Jimmy's human environment and the family's living conditions. We are told that Jimmy, a first child, was delivered some two weeks early by Caesarian section, though we are not told why this intervention was considered necessary. Nevertheless his mother did not appear overwhelmed by this experience and greeted the observer who met her for the first time in the maternity unit, “without fuss or self-consciousness”. The observer conveys the impression of a resilient young mother, able to express her feelings, both of exhaustion and of pleasure and sadness when she discusses her father's death. Her growing confidence in the mothering side, suggested by a reduction in rigidity, is noted.

Jimmy is a bottle-fed baby, possible a consequence of the mother's physical distress following the Caesarian, or for some other physical cause. Possibly the mother had taken the decision not to breast-feed prior to his birth. One is intrigued and would like to know more.

The observation made on a visit when Jimmy was 4'/z months old and given here in detail shows firstly, the infant's different reactions when he looks at the observer and then when he sees his mother. The observer is greeted with smiles, but the child remains still.

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