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Geleerd, E.R. (1962). Symposium on Child Analysis—Contributions to Discussion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:338-339.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:338-339

Symposium on Child Analysis—Contributions to Discussion

Elisabeth R. Geleerd


I want to congratulate Mrs Bick and Drs Frankl and Hellman on their interesting contributions which give much opportunity for discussion. Mrs Bick reminds us that this symposium is the first one on Child Analysis at a Congress of the I.P.A. I find it very difficult to regard this as a sign that child analysis is barely established. The two papers presented in this symposium are greatly condensed. Many a paragraph has material enough for a paper in itself. Such rich material and theoretical knowledge and formulations can only be produced when a body of knowledge is well established. I would like to remind you that there is a solid literature of high calibre in child analysis. Mrs Bick's observations on the difficulties the child analyst encounters are well taken. She mentions the reality factors, such as time, money, and fatigue, as well as the problems of counter-transference towards the child, and added to this towards his parents, which requires more and different skills than those for working with adults.

Drs Frankl and Hellman referred to the treatment alliance with the autonomous ego, as described by Loewenstein. In child analysis the treatment alliance establishes itself as the analysis proceeds. However, we also need the cooperation of the parents, a treatment alliance with their healthy ego, if I might formulate it this way. We need the parents to bring the child when it is in resistance. We also need the parent to give information about current events and to fill in gaps and correct memory distortions in the developmental history as given earlier to the analyst.

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