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Sobel, I.P. (1949). Pediatrics and the Emotional Needs of the Child: Edited by Helen L. Witmer. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, 1948. 180 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:394.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:394

Pediatrics and the Emotional Needs of the Child: Edited by Helen L. Witmer. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, 1948. 180 pp.

Review by:
Irwin Philip Sobel

In March 1947, a group of pediatricians and psychiatrists held a conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This monograph is a dressed-up report of their three day discussions which relatively few people will care to read. It is true that some excellent points were made by a handful of physicians and social workers. Unfortunately, however, almost fifty people took part in the proceedings. Their short speeches and arguments, while probably quite stimulating at the time, do not seem very impressive in print. A recital of this threshing-out process, in which many who have attained eminence in fields other than child psychiatry participated, is hardly an efficient way to give the reader a clear and unified concept of the subject.

The very fact that the conference took place, however, represents a milestone in pediatrics. Here was revealed the growing interest of pediatricians in the emotional development of infants and children, a desire to learn something about dynamic psychology, and the attempts that have been made to bring about psychiatric orientation of the members of well-organized pediatric departments.

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