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Thomson-Salo, F. Paul, C. (2017). Understanding the Sexuality of Infants Within Caregiving Relationships in the First Year. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):320-337.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(3):320-337

Understanding the Sexuality of Infants Within Caregiving Relationships in the First Year

Frances Thomson-Salo, Ph.D. and Campbell Paul, M.B., B.S.

Infants’ innate joyful sexuality in the 1st year, as well as parental sexuality, are relatively neglected in models of clinical work with infants. We offer a developmental perspective that pays close attention to the body of the infant, in contrast to some psychoanalytic theories that view infantile sexuality as phantasy. With greater awareness of the infant’s body as sexual, therapists could develop a more resonant countertransference and become more aware of the experiences of the infant as subject. Some symptomatic difficulties are described, and the relevance for psychotherapeutic intervention with adults is indicated.

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