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(1967). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965: Diagnostic Skills and Their Growth in Psychoanalysis. Anna Freud. Pp. 31-38.. Psychoanal Q., 36:312-313.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965: Diagnostic Skills and Their Growth in Psychoanalysis. Anna Freud. Pp. 31-38.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:312-313

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965: Diagnostic Skills and Their Growth in Psychoanalysis. Anna Freud. Pp. 31-38.

In Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology (1950), Hartmann expresses the revolutionary view that direct observations can be used as 'indicators of structurally central and partly unconscious developments …'. Anna Freud pursues the same line of thought in showing how surface observation of the child can prove useful for diagnosing the patient's state and can help decide for or against analytic treatment, but it must not be mistaken for a technical device serving analytic interpretation. By focusing on the functioning of the ego during evaluation one can note areas of repression, reaction-formation, poor

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control, narcissistic withdrawal, etc., and can draw conclusions about the underlying drive content and stages of development in which unresolved conflict began. But one must expect the analysis to reveal additional areas of conflict and modes of coping with it, and anticipate that surface behavior and symptomatology derive from wider sources of conflict than are visible on direct examination. Much additional knowledge of early stages of development has been gained from direct observation of children—for instance, the fact of separation anxiety and much concerning the whole preverbal relationship of mother and child—but these discoveries were made by analytically-trained observers, and all-important facts such as the sequence of libido development and infantile complexes with their manifest derivatives remained unnoticed until reconstructed from analytic work.

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Article Citation

(1967). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965. Psychoanal. Q., 36:312-313

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