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Smith, E. McKinnon, R. Kessler, J.W. (1976). Psychotherapy with Mentally Retarded Children. Psychoanal. St. Child, 31:493-514.

(1976). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 31:493-514

Psychotherapy with Mentally Retarded Children

Edith Smith, M.S., Rosemary McKinnon, M.S. and Jane W. Kessler, Ph.D.

A GREAT DEAL HAS BEEN WRITTEN ON PARENTS' REACTIONS TO BEING informed that they have a mentally retarded child (Mandelbaum and Wheeler, 1960); (Solnit and Stark, 1961); (Olshansky, 1962); (Dalton and Epstein, 1963), but surprisingly little has been written about the developmental experiences of the retarded child. After diagnosis, mentally retarded children are usually set aside for treatment by special educators and ignored by mental health workers. Child psychoanalysts, in particular, have had little to say about the effect of mental retardation on personality development. This paper discusses some of the reasons for this neglect and presents some clinical material from a neurotic, retarded child for whom analytically oriented psychotherapy was the treatment of choice.


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