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Rosenberg, A. (1986). Journal of Child Psychotherapy. X, 1984: Two Crucial Questions: Adopted Children in Psychoanalytic Treatment. Jill Hodges, et al.. Psychoanal Q., 55:546.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Child Psychotherapy. X, 1984: Two Crucial Questions: Adopted Children in Psychoanalytic Treatment. Jill Hodges, et al.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:546

Journal of Child Psychotherapy. X, 1984: Two Crucial Questions: Adopted Children in Psychoanalytic Treatment. Jill Hodges, et al.

Asher Rosenberg

The findings reported in this paper are based on the work of the Research Group on Adopted Children at the Hampstead Clinic. Despite an apparent lack of interest in their adopted status, latency and younger adoptees in analysis commonly reveal an intense curiosity about and speculation on two questions: Who were my first parents and what were they like? Why did they give me up? Why does the child need to answer these two questions? What is "the part played by the representation of the biological parents in the child's representational world?" The child appears to be compelled to create a representation fabricated from fragmentary information and psychosexual phase-related fantasies and feelings. The resulting composite fantasy image is thought to be vital in the child's construction of his or her own sense of identity. The Research Group emphasizes the adoptee's seemingly urgent search for a mental representation of the physical qualities of the parent. The great importance of the body image is tentatively attributed to the fact that the child's body is the real link with the biological parents and the fantasied basis of the biological parents' original dissatisfaction and rejection. Case vignettes illustrate the range of answers appearing with some regularity to the two questions. A major focus is the relation between the fantasies and the maintenance of self-esteem.


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Article Citation

Rosenberg, A. (1986). Journal of Child Psychotherapy. X, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 55:546

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.