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Hinsie, L.E. (1926). Psychoanalysis and Heaven. Psychoanal. Rev., 13(2):145-172.

(1926). Psychoanalytic Review, 13(2):145-172

Psychoanalysis and Heaven

Leland E. Hinsie, M.D.

One of the outstanding means of approach to the so—called functional groups of mental disorders comprises the study of the relations to one another of the different members of the family circle. The results of such studies have endowed the psychiatrist with a palpable therapeutic adjunct in probably all cases that are capable of appreciating the role of the familial factors, and have contributed to a more thorough understanding, though at present an inapplicable one as a curative aid, of the cases that cannot be brought to a comprehensible estimation of their significance. The weight that family influences bear varies most likely in each individual case; in some instances they may be of major consequence, while in others they often assume an academic interest only. Foremost among the various permutations possible in a family group are the relations of the mother to the son and of the father to the daughter. Of course, it would be unwise to lay down any one principle in the consideration of such a broad problem, involving, as it does, so many complicating features. Cases are encountered in which the combinations mentioned (mother—son; father—daughter) have been relatively well—adjusted, cases in which the early, infantile attachments have been satisfactorily sublimated; on the other hand, there are those who have been unable to break the bond; one may see in all their essential experiences the efforts to retain the early attachments.

The embryo is, at the beginning of its being, a part, a physical part, of its mother. It continues to assume that relationship until it is separated at birth. In early infancy its mother tries to reconstruct its intrauterine environment, because she knows that it is then most comfortable. She succeeds when she wraps the child up warmly and removes disagreeable stimuli, such as strong light, varying temperatures, etc. Furthermore, she cares for all its functions as she did when it was in utero; she feeds the child from her own body; she removes its waste products; she provides warmth; she protects it from harmful agents.

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