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Piovano, B. (2003). Comment on “Parent-Infant Psychotherapy and Psychoanalytic Treatment: Contradiction or Mutual Inspiration?” by Christiane Ludwig-Körner. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 12(4):259-264.

(2003). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 12(4):259-264

Comment on “Parent-Infant Psychotherapy and Psychoanalytic Treatment: Contradiction or Mutual Inspiration?” by Christiane Ludwig-Körner Related Papers

Barbara Piovano, M.D.

The title is challenging and the reader is immediately presented with the difficulties encountered by child analysts who, in the forties, began to involve parents in the analytical treatment of children.

The author dates the beginning of parent-infant psychotherapy to the period when Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham opened the Hampstead War Nurseries (1944-1995) in which also the children's mothers and relatives were welcomed. In 1954 Dorothy Burlingham founded a Kindergarten for blind children with an auxiliary advisory service for their parents. The author also cites Bowlby's research on the mental health of homeless children, published in his monograph “Maternal Care and Mental Health” (1) and the research project carried out from 1972 to 1979 at the Michigan University in Ann Arbor by Selma Fraiberg, considered a pioneer of the parent-infant therapy.

I think it is important to mention here Alicia Lieberman's contribution to parent-infant therapy (2). She emphasized beneficial links between the attachment theory and the work of psychoanalytic parent-infant psychotherapy.

More recently, in 1994, Jack and Kerry Novick founded the Allen Greek Preschool in Ann Arbor which provides experts for young children and their parents to promote intellectual, social and emotional growth in young children, by blending the objective of early childhood education with a psychoanalytic perspective.

The author comments that neither Bowlby's attachment theory nor Anna Freud's work with children carried out at her Child Psychoanalysis Educational Institute received the recognition it deserved from the official psychoanalysis of that period.

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