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Sugarman, A. (1994). Toward Helping Child Analysands Observe Mental Functioning. Psychoanal. Psychol., 11(3):329-339.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 11(3):329-339

Toward Helping Child Analysands Observe Mental Functioning

Alan Sugarman, Ph.D.

Modern-day literature on classical psychoanalytic technique has emphasized developing the technical implications of the structural model. Such implications involve expanding the control of the conscious ego over other structures of the psyche. In particular, classical analysts now emphasize helping the patient to become aware of and gain control over current-day intrapsychic conflicts that cause symptoms and character problems. The work of Paul Gray has been of particular importance in this resurgence of classical technical writings. In this article, I apply Gray's work to child analytic technique and suggest ways that his approach may prove useful in the difficult task of helping child patients to gain insight. A case of a preadolescent boy is presented as a heuristic example of how one might go about analyzing the child's defensive use of superego functions in the way that I understand Gray to suggest. It is hoped that such an example can further attempts both to understand the nature of the child analytic process and to clarify further the technical implications of modern-day classical thinking.

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