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O'Shaughnessy, E. Harrison, A. Alvarez, A. (1999). Symposium on frustration. J. Child Psychother., 25(2):167-198.

(1999). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 25(2):167-198

Symposium on frustration

Edna O'Shaughnessy, Anne Harrison and Anne Alvarez

Following the publication of Anne Alvarez’ paper ‘Failures to link attacks or deficits'? (Vol. 24 No. 2, August 1988), we asked Edna O'Shaughnessy for her views on this subject, and she suggested this format in order to explore the issue of frustration from different theoretical and clinical viewpoints. In this symposium the authors look at the core concept of frustration from Freud's original formulations of the pleasure principle and the reality principle, through Melanie Klein's and Anna Freud's extensions of this and Winnicott's precise distinction between the failure of libidinal satisfaction and the failure of the environment to offer something needed for development. Bion's taking forward of the concept in terms of its centrality in the development of thinking itself in turn paves the way for contemporary thinkers and practitioners to marry the insights of infant observation and child development research. This does not offer an alternative to previous thinking but presents a fuller picture which has both technical and theoretical implications. Clinical material is used by each author to illustrate their theme.

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