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Kris, A.O. (1981). On Giving Advice to Parents in Analysis. Psychoanal. St. Child, 36:151-162.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 36:151-162

On Giving Advice to Parents in Analysis

Anton O. Kris, M.D.

THE ANALYTIC TREATMENT OF ADULT PATIENTS WHO ARE PARENTS often comes upon problems in regard to their children. In some of these instances the evidence of difficulty or the signs of impending trouble run well ahead of the current analytic focus or of the patient's own ability to recognize the significance of the matter in question. The analyst, however, may be keenly aware of potentially adverse effects on the development of a child or of the family as a whole. While such concerns may be far from the patient's attention or interest as an analysand, they are vital to the patient's interest as a parent. Interventions closer to child guidance than to psychoanalysis may be called for in the context of analysis. I shall try to describe and illustrate the technical problem that confronts the analyst in these situations.

Ordinarily the analyst does not give advice to his patients in analysis. Although he regularly makes use of his knowledge of child development, he does not generally function as an "expert" or as an "educator" in the analytic situation. As a participant in the analytic method his aim is to help the patient express in words, without reservation, all thoughts, feelings, wishes, sensations, images, and memories, i.e., to facilitate free association (Kris, 1981).

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