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Thiel, J.H. Treurniet, N. (1976). Panel on 'The Implications of Recent Advances in the Knowledge of Child Development for the Treatment of Adults'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:429-439.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:429-439

Panel on 'The Implications of Recent Advances in the Knowledge of Child Development for the Treatment of Adults'

J. H. Thiel and N. Treurniet

The Chairman, León Grinberg, welcomed the audience to this panel discussion and stressed the importance of the subject. Recently it had aroused a good deal of interest but also doubt. The Panel would try to uncover the motives both for the interest and the doubt. León Grinberg then said a few words about the professional background of each of the panel members. He expressed how sorry he was that Hanna Segal and Victor Smirnoff could not attend the panel for health reasons. Fortunately they could be replaced by Mrs Pick and Dr Thiel. He then announced that every panel member would begin by giving a summary of the main views contained in his position statement. After that the members of the panel would have a spontaneous discussion which finally would be followed by a discussion from the floor.

Starting in alphabetical order the Chairman gave the floor to Charles Brenner. Brenner read his position statement (published in the second 1975 issue of the Newsletter of the President of the I.P.A.) some elements of which are reported here. To put the matter succinctly, Brenner stated that he does not believe that any substantial implication for the psychoanalytic treatment of adults is contained in the recent advances in knowledge about child development. The facts that are available to him are consonant with the view that both in severely and in less severely ill adult patients an absence of conflict over oedipal wishes is apparent rather than real and that the so-called pre-oedipal features are chiefly the result of defensively motivated displacements and regression.

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