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(1976). Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XIV, 1975: Ghosts in the Nursery: A Psychoanalytic Approach to the Problems of Impaired Infant-Mother Relationships. Selma Fraiberg; Edna Edelson; Vivian Shapiro. Pp. 387-421.. Psychoanal Q., 45:651.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XIV, 1975: Ghosts in the Nursery: A Psychoanalytic Approach to the Problems of Impaired Infant-Mother Relationships. Selma Fraiberg; Edna Edelson; Vivian Shapiro. Pp. 387-421.

(1976). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 45:651

Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XIV, 1975: Ghosts in the Nursery: A Psychoanalytic Approach to the Problems of Impaired Infant-Mother Relationships. Selma Fraiberg; Edna Edelson; Vivian Shapiro. Pp. 387-421.

In this beautifully written paper, the defense of identification with the aggressor is explored. Through detailed accounts of two patients, in which 'ghosts of the parental past take possession of the nursery' (the mothers reared their infants in a repetition of the pathological and traumatic parenting they had suffered as infants), a key question and a thoughtful hypothesis are presented. The focal question raised is what 'determines whether the conflicted past of the parent will be repeated with [her] child', since it is well known that not every traumatized child becomes a traumatizing parent. The authors pose the hypothesis that the essential difference is in the nature and content of the defensive repressions. The parent who has successfully isolated and repressed the affective components of the trauma seems doomed to repeat the pathological parenting through identification with the betrayers and aggressors. Those who, for reasons not understood and warranting further study, consciously retain the affects of their painful past are better able to spare their own children that same experience.


WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.
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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

(1976). Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XIV, 1975. Psychoanal. Q., 45:651

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WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.