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Glover, E. (1927). Symposium on Child-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:385-391.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:385-391

Symposium on Child-Analysis

Edward Glover




Whilst psycho-analysts are never lacking in vigour when it is necessary to defend analytical principles against encroachment from without or within the movement, their attitude on most subjects of scientific discussion is characterized by a conspicuous absence of emotional bias. On one or two matters, however, it would appear that absence of empirical data sufficient to closure discussion gives rise to a more than usually animated expression of personal opinion. I imagine this is especially true of the subject of child analysis. We are of course familiar with the fact that when patients happen to be acquainted with psycho-analytical theory this knowledge is invariably turned to advantage during analysis as a resistance. I have recently reported a case in which theoretical rumination on the nature of the super-ego was exploited in the interests of the castration complex; the patient profoundly disagreed with an article he had read on the anachronistic nature of this ego instance. I do not suggest that so crude a reaction is operative in discussing the subject of child analysis, but I think it is possible that the idea of radical interference with the mental functioning of young children is calculated to arouse faint echoes of outworn conflicts. Otherwise I find it difficult to account for the fact that although the work on early analysis has been produced by one single investigator (Melanie Klein), it has been subjected to vigorous criticism by other analysts whose labours have been in quite distinct fields.

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