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Ungar, V. (2015). Antonino Ferro and Child Analysis. Psychoanal. Inq., 35(5):478-493.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35(5):478-493

Antonino Ferro and Child Analysis

Virginia Ungar, M.D.

I have decided that my particular article in this present work will be devoted to looking at the valuable contribution made by Antonino Ferro to child analysis. At the same time, I try to examine how the practice of child and adolescent psychoanalysis has influenced his way of working with and thinking about patients of all ages.

Ferro’s (1998) book dedicated to the technique of child analysis begins with a categorical statement: He believes that there is but one psychoanalysis, although it is described by different models with differing conceptualizations of what is meant by the term object. He quickly clarifies, however, that, even taking into account the fact that analysts will find different modes of expression and also diversities within the frame of their work according to the age and degree of mental capacity and development of each patient, what is central to his model is the idea that the requirements of the analyst’s mental functioning remain the same.

Ferro acts as a lightening rod for Bion’s ideas, grounding them and helping to find a day-to-day application in the field of clinical analysis. While listening to him in person or reading his work, one can sense that one is encountering an individual who is not only a true scholar of Bion’s works in the best sense of the word, but also one who applies the ideas in a unique and creative way.

However, Ferro is anything but a hollow disciple of Bion; rather, he applies the ideas of Bion in a way that, today, helps analysts to realize Bion’s principles.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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