Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To find an Author in a Video…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To find an Author in a Video, go to the Search Section found on the top left side of the homepage. Then, select “All Video Streams” in the Source menu. Finally, write the name of the Author in the “Search for Words or Phrases in Context” area and click the Search button.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Benvenuto, B. (1989). Once upon A Time the Infant in the Lacanian Theory. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(3):409-422.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(3):409-422

Theoretical Concepts: The Child's Psyche V

Once upon A Time the Infant in the Lacanian Theory

Bice Benvenuto

By setting up a dialogue with the ‘adult’ unconscious of his patients, Freud had to admit, not without scandal for those times, that he was inevitably led into the dark area of childhood sexuality.

That the child is the father of the man, as E Armstrong-Perlman reminded us in her introduction to this series of articles on infant development, is a truth which only became so in our culture, more precisely, from the time that psychoanalysis discovered the importance of childhood for the unconscious of adult patients. Thanks to this discovery the child has become the centre of interest in most branches of our culture and understanding in a way as never before in history, as the historian Philippe Aries suggests in his interesting book on the history of the family in the Ancien Regime.'

Childhood seems to contain in itself the mystery of our origin. It is the foundation for any further development. That the quest for the mystery of origins holds strong in psychoanalysis can be seen in the way it traces man's relation to the world further and further back, into the mists of an original state, as if to catch it in the act, at its birth. Like story-tellers, psychoanalysts too would like to start the story with a ‘Once upon a time’.

Like the cell in biology and the atom in physics, psychoanalysis too looks for the irreducible unit of the psychic world. Object relation theory, in spite of all its variations of emphases, postulates the irreducible relation to a primary object (namely, the breast) which will determine to a greater or lesser extent the internal world of the infant and thus, eventually, the adult.

[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.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.