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Anthony, E.J. (1980). The Family and the Psychoanalytic Process in Children. Psychoanal. St. Child, 35:3-34.

(1980). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 35:3-34

The Family and the Psychoanalytic Process in Children

E. James Anthony, M.D.

The answer to technical problems in psycho-analytic practice is never obvious.
FREUD (1922)

PSYCHOANALYSTS ARE BY PERSUASION AND TRAINING ORIENTED toward the individual, whether adult or child. Their therapeutic vision is directed intrapsychically, although the technique they use to achieve inwardness has an important interactional component. In earlier days, they referred to themselves as "depth" psychologists, signifying their profound and almost exclusive concern with the realm of the unconscious; but as the ego and the self assumed greater prominence in theory, the extrapsychic world has been increasingly acknowledged (Anthony, 1980). One of these outer formations is the family, the milieu in which the child spends many years crucial to his development. Parts of this familial environment are gradually internalized into the conflictual spheres of the psyche, while other portions gain varying degrees of object representation. A further aspect of the family is incorporated into the conscious life of the child as he gradually comes to understand the complex elements that hold it


Ittleson Professor of Child Psychiatry at Washington University, St. Louis; training and supervising analyst (for adult and child analysis) at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute; and currently President of the Association for Child Psychoanalysis.

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