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Sidoli, M. (1988). Infancy and Childhood: A Jungian Vertex. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(1):105-114.

(1988). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(1):105-114

Theoretical Concepts: The Child's Psyche IV

Infancy and Childhood: A Jungian Vertex

Mara. Sidoli

In this paper I have tried to give an account of the way in when a Jungian approach to infancy and childhood has developed and is still evolving, beginning with Jung's early on childhood as a stage of adaptation to the demands made on the child by the external world, and his idea that the child is, as it were, still enclosed in the psychic atmosphere of his parents until the onset of adolescence when lie consciously begins m separate from them. Into, United States Frances Wicker was a contemporary of Jung who worked with children, but her ideas on the subject entered very little from Jung's own.

It was Michael Fordham who, in the 19501 made a great contribution to the field of Jungian child analytical psychology by applying Jung's theories of the self, the archetype and individuation to infancy and childhood. He conceptualised a primal self, the totality of psychesoma in a germinal stage from the tarp start of intrauterine life, a steady state of integration from which the child's psyche and his physical growth will unfold through a dynamic process which he named deintegration-reintegration processes. Applying the theory of archetypes to infancy means that a predisposition exists in the child to develop archaic ideas, feeling and phantasies without their being implanted in him and without his interesting then.

Following Fordham, I proceed to discuss how the instinctual discharges in Infancy get modified by the experience of being mothered, and how the baby discovers background images which both fit and evoke his experience. I compare Fordham's definition ofa ‘primary integrated state’ with concepts used by both Bion and Meltier to describe a similar primitive state of affairs then consider the function of the mother as the container of the baby's body and mind, as well as an orientating cents which enables the baby to build up his internal and external sense of space and time. From this point go on to consider the process o took separation individuation and quote an example from an infant observation of a baby girl who took along time to come to life.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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