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Mahler, M.S. (1946). The Hospital Treatment of Emotionally Disturbed Children: Lewis R. Wolberg. Mental Hygiene XXIX, 1945, pp. 395–403.. Psychoanal Q., 15:555.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Hospital Treatment of Emotionally Disturbed Children: Lewis R. Wolberg. Mental Hygiene XXIX, 1945, pp. 395–403.

(1946). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 15:555

The Hospital Treatment of Emotionally Disturbed Children: Lewis R. Wolberg. Mental Hygiene XXIX, 1945, pp. 395–403.

Margaret S. Mahler

Psychiatric hospitals for children are still in the experimental stage. However, 'there are many children who have been reared in environments so destructive that transfer to an institution that provides them with a minimum of mental health requirements opens the floodgates of self-development… Unfortunately, by the time the average child comes to the hospital for therapy, his difficulties have been structuralized so deeply that he continues to react to the hospital environment as if it were a replica of his home.'

The psychotherapeutic methods and tools employed in children's institutions are discussed. The therapeutic value of the relationship between the child and the psychiatrist, the child and the hospital personnel, and especially between the individual child and the children as a group is pointed out. The author is of the opinion that it is of primary importance to let the patient express his impulses freely, 'within the limits of reason and safety', in order eventually to rebuild his attitude towards authority. A firm but kindly discipline must aid the child to establish 'necessary normal repressions'. Therapy and hospital environment should provide the child with preparation to reënter the outside world with a greater measure of self-sufficiency, independence and an increased aptitude to coöperate with other people.

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Article Citation

Mahler, M.S. (1946). The Hospital Treatment of Emotionally Disturbed Children. Psychoanal. Q., 15:555

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