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Kris, E. Greenacre, P. Freud, A. Hartmann, H. Lewin, B.D. Escalona, S. Loewenstein, R.M. Jacobson, E. Spitz, R.A. Waelder, R. Davison, C. Bell, A. Mittelmann, B. Mahler, M.S. Bychowski, G. (1954). Problems of Infantile Neurosis—A Discussion. Psychoanal. St. Child, 9:16-71.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 9:16-71

Problems of Infantile Neurosis—A Discussion

Ernst Kris, Phyllis Greenacre, Anna Freud, Heinz Hartmann, Bertram D. Lewin, Sibylle Escalona, Rudolph M. Loewenstein, Edith Jacobson, Rene A. Spitz, Robert Waelder, Charles Davison, Anita Bell, Bela Mittelmann, Margaret S. Mahler and Gustav Bychowski


Ladies and Gentlemen. It is my privilege to open the first of the three extraordinary sessions of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The topic of today's symposium has been repeatedly suggested for discussion. It was among the topics submitted to the Program Committee of the last two International Congresses. It was then felt that the topic was better suited for a discussion by a more homogeneous group of analysts, so that unavoidable misunderstandings could be more easily clarified, and the existing diversity of opinion could readily be viewed in its relation to substantial agreements on basic principles of psychoanalytic thought.

Such a homogeneous group is assembled here around a guest, honored by all, beloved by many, in order to carry on an exchange of opinion without fear of controversy. On the contrary, we hope to stimulate some controversy, if only as a starting point, controversy moderated by the secure knowledge of the collective commitment. It is in this sense that we have come together to submit views to Miss Freud, and to tell her of our reactions to her own work.

The topic announced by the committee for the arrangement of this meeting is both wide and vague. The title may suggest several lines of thought. One may think of the infantile neurosis reconstructed and revived during the analysis of adult patients, or one may think of the neuroses of childhood. This is obviously more than a verbal or grammatical duplicity. These seem to be two different topics, and yet these two different topics are inseparably intertwined.

From a very early date in Freud's work, the psychoanalytic study of childhood has been conducted by two methods; by the reconstruction of childhood experience on the one hand, and by observation and treatment of the growing child on the other.

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