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Anthony, E.J. (1982). The Comparable Experience of a Child and Adult Analyst. Psychoanal. St. Child, 37:339-366.

(1982). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 37:339-366

The Comparable Experience of a Child and Adult Analyst

E. James Anthony, M.D.


AS SOMEONE WHO DEALS WITH CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS, AND adults in the course of his daily psychoanalytic work, I have often been struck by the differences and similarities that typify the analytic situation with patients of different ages and sexes. I have previously addressed myself to the influence of sex differences between analyst and analysand (Anthony, 1981), but in this paper I propose to restrict myself to the age difference between practitioner and patient and the problems that evolve when the discrepancies are large. It has been my experience that the chronological gap imposes as many difficulties on the analysis as the sex difference. The envy systems provoked by age differences can generate hostilities, both conscious and unconscious, as unresolvable as genital envy.

I shall explore the differences between child and adult analysis as experienced subjectively by the analyst and objectively by the way in which he works.

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