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Josephson, M.M. (1978). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 47:490-491.

(1978). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 47:490-491

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Martin M. Josephson

DISCUSSION: Dr. Annemarie P. Weil expressed her admiration for the tripartite method used by the authors. She mentioned several features concerning such children: the difficulty in distinguishing primary from secondary autism; the potential weakness of the stimulus barrier; and the lag in integrating ability compounded by the maternal response. In this child the discrepancy between her manipulative skills and her language was striking, with a disordering of the various developmental lines, leading later to a failure of latency age organization. Two aspects went amiss for the handling of aggression and the development of a self-concept: a disturbed interaction with an initially poorly attuned mother and a child with insufficient "sending power" (the latter in contrast to some of the children described by Anthony). In this child, lacking a supportive, empathic mother, and with her initial experiences out of kilter (breast feeding followed by total withdrawal), no fusion of drives was possible and aggression was rampant. The corrective symbiotic experience for both child and mother allowed for the fusion and neutralization of drives and for identity formation.

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