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Bick, E. (1962). Symposium on Child Analysis—Contributions to Discussion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:342.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:342

Symposium on Child Analysis—Contributions to Discussion

Esther Bick

(ii) ESTHER BICK (Reply)

I would like first of all to discuss Geleerd's contribution. With regard to the question she raised about whether child analysis is well established or not, what I concentrated on was the inadequacy of training connected with psycho-analytic institutes and the small number of contributions to the International Journal.

I agree with Dr Geleerd about the importance of the relationship to the parents, about the need to evaluate the cooperation of the parents in our interviews with them, to assess what our future relationship with them will be, to get an idea how they will support the treatment.

I am less in agreement with her approach to the analyst as representing reality for the child. I agree that the child analyst should constantly help the child to differentiate between phantasy and reality. I must stress, however, that the fundamental function of the analyst is to investigate the child's psychic reality without acting one way or the other. The question is how the analyst should present reality. It would be useless for the analyst in dealing, for example, with a phobia, to tell the child that the phobic object is in reality not dangerous. He must help the child to locate the persecutor in psychic reality and then demonstrate its origin and dynamic links, including those to external reality especially in the transference. This is the fundamental method of analysis, to differentiate and to clarify so that the child's judgement can function, not to judge for him; to strengthen rather than to reassure.

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