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Lanyado, M. Edwards, J. (1996). Editorial. J. Child Psychother., 22(2):165-167.

(1996). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 22(2):165-167


Monica Lanyado and Judith Edwards

This edition of the journal provides the interesting perspective of child psychotherapists at work in different parts of the world. It reflects our hope that the journal may stimulate a cross-pollination of ideas within and outwith the profession, with respect to clinical practice, innovative applications of the work and theoretical debate. While recent (and forthcoming) editions of the journal have focused on the founders of the profession, providing the opportunity to study afresh and reassess their contributions, it is through the exciting way in which this body of knowledge is carried forward that the greatest value lies.

Last year we published ‘A mother's narrative of a premature birth’ (April 1995) by Norma Tracey and her colleagues in Sydney, Australia. Now, as part of the same research project into premature birth and its sequelae, we are pleased to be able to publish a father's story: ‘Will I be to my son as my father was to me?’ In this powerful and moving account, the first-time father of a seven weeks premature baby boy struggles with the, at times overwhelming, feelings which are precipitated by this premature birth. Slowly and painfully he moves towards an integration of powerful feelings from his own battered childhood and a claiming and acknowledging of himself as a good parent for his baby son. We might think of this as an addition to Winnicott's original concept: that of ‘primary paternal preoccupation’.

From Cape Town, South Africa, comes the paper by Trevor Lubbe, ‘Who lets go first? Some observations on the struggles around weaning’. In this paper the author comments on the relative lack of psychological literature on the issues surrounding weaning. He uses extracts from various infant observations to illustrate how weaning is approached both by the mother and by the baby. Differential strategies around letting go, dropping or rejecting are explored. These prefigure what the author characterizes as ‘the life-long struggle of making love and hate coexist in a realistic way in relationships’.

The other four papers in this edition are from English authors.

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