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Sandler, J. Rosenblatt, B. (1962). The Concept of the Representational World. Psychoanal. St. Child, 17:128-145.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 17:128-145

The Concept of the Representational World

Joseph Sandler, Ph.D. and Bernard Rosenblatt, Ph.D.

It may seem strange at first sight that such a formal and routine procedure as constructing an index to psychoanalytic case material could be the focus of active, and at times exciting, research. However, this is indeed the case, and the present paper aims at giving some of the work which has been going on in the research committees of the Index.

Those of us who work on the Index have been impressed by the way in which the need to categorize and classify psychoanalytic material derived from the analyses of child patients forces us to think about our theoretical models, to go into these models in more detail, occasionally to supplement or modify them, and finally to define exactly what we mean by the terms we use. There is a constant interaction between our clinical material and our theoretical formulations, an interaction which seems to us to be an essential constituent of all scientific procedures (Sandler, 1961).


Based on a paper presented to a meeting (prior to the International Psycho-Analytical Congress, Edinburgh) at the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic, July, 1961. The work reported here has been aided by a joint grant from the Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry, New Haven, Connecticut, and the Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund, Inc., New York.

The material used has been taken from the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic, a therapeutic and research center financed by the following foundations: The Field Foundation, Inc., New York; The Ford Foundation, New York; The Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry, New Haven, Connecticut; The Anna Freud Foundation, New York; The Grant Foundation, Inc., New York; The Estate of Flora Haas, New York; The Old Dominion Foundation, U.S.A.; The Psychoanalytic Research and Development Found, Inc., New York; The Taconic Foundation, New York.

Grateful acknowledgment is due to Miss Anna Freud, Professor Irving Janis, Mrs. L. Neurath, Mrs. A.-M. Sandler, Mrs. M. Kawenoka, Miss A. Bene, Mrs. H. Kennedy, Mrs. S. Rosenfeld, and Miss A. Schnurmann, who have all contributed to the formulations in this paper. Special thanks are also due to Dr. K. R. Eissler for valuable and stimulating comments on an earlier formulation of these ideas.

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