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Jacobs, L. (2015). Child Versus Parent-Focused Therapy: Will the Real Binary Please Stand Up Discussion of Laurel Silber’s A View from the Margins: Children in Relational Psychoanalysis. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 14(4):373-379.

(2015). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 14(4):373-379

Child Versus Parent-Focused Therapy: Will the Real Binary Please Stand Up Discussion of Laurel Silber’s A View from the Margins: Children in Relational Psychoanalysis

Linda Jacobs, Ph.D.

The author discusses the binary posited by Laurel Silber between child and adult therapies. However, this paper shifts the focus to the binary between classical and relational models. Classical child therapists fail to conceptualize the child’s experience as embedded in attachments and real relationships. In contrast, the relational turn in psychoanalytic theory has repudiated the idea of the “isolated mind.” Rather, relational child therapists see child and adult treatment on a continuum and maintain a view of the mind as dyadically created and shared. These seminal shifts, based on attachment theory and infant research, have created a new paradigm which rests on greater collaboration between therapist and parent. Thus, relational, intersubjectively organized child therapists have turned to an increasing degree, to working with parents in consultative relationships. The growing body of research that supports work with parents is seen as more compatible with the relational turn and more consistent with current attachment research.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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