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Lombardi, K.L. Lapidos, E. (1990). Therapeutic Engagements with Children: Integrating Infant Research and Clinical Practice. Psychoanal. Psychol., 7(1):91-103.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 7(1):91-103

Therapeutic Engagements with Children: Integrating Infant Research and Clinical Practice

Karen L. Lombardi, Ph.D. and Eva Lapidos, Ph.D.

This article attempts to integrate recent infant research and psychoanalytic practice with children. From a contemporary theoretical standpoint, babies seem both more agentic and autonomous and more relationally sensitive and responsive than previously thought. When the child is viewed neither as victim and deprivant nor as a bundle of impulses which need to be tamed, but as an agentic force within an interpersonal matrix, our notions of what is central in treatment change accordingly. Particularly central to work with children are the understanding and use of transference and countertransference issues as they emerge both in fantasy play and more directly in relationship with the analyst, and issues of parental projective identification. Illustrative clinical examples are provided.

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