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Roiphe, H. (1973). Some Thoughts on Childhood Psychosis, Self and Object. Psychoanal. St. Child, 28:131-145.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 28:131-145

Some Thoughts on Childhood Psychosis, Self and Object

Herman Roiphe, M.D.

ALICE, A PSYCHOTIC GIRL, WAS 3½ YEARS OF AGE WHEN SHE WAS started in an intensive treatment program, as part of a research investigation of the separation-individuation phase in normal and psychotic children (Mahler, 1952); (Mahler and Gosliner, 1955); (Mahler and Furer, 1960); (Pine and Furer, 1963). In spite of impressive therapeutic movement, the treatment after two years of intensive work, was ultimately unsuccessful in that she could not be integrated back into the family and was, on the parent's own decision, institutionalized. However, her treatment afforded the opportunity to make a number of observations about the centrality of bowel and bladder functioning and the developing self and object relationship which may be of general interest in understanding some features of psychotic functioning and may, perhaps, even throw light on some aspects of early normal development.

Alice was a well-developed child and physically attractive, except for the vacant, unfocused gaze and immobile features which gave her appearance a curiously unappealing quality.

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