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Gold, J. Kauderer, S. Schwartz, F. Solodow, W. (2015). The Space Between: Educating the Whole Child. Psychoanal. St. Child, 69:372-393.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 69:372-393

The Space Between: Educating the Whole Child

Jason Gold, Ph.D., Sherri Kauderer, Ph.D., Francesca Schwartz, Ph.D. and William Solodow, Ph.D.

In the world of education the emotional life of the child has come in and out of focus. Psychoanalytic ideas and principles, including an emphasis on the individual, unconscious motivations, attachments, transferences, disavowed intentions, and feelings defended against, are in full operation within school settings. More recent developments in social-emotional skill promotion in schools and the emphasis on instilling skills such as perseverance and self-control have aims similar to psychoanalytic ideas of healthy ego functioning but use a more direct, didactic approach. We propose that the psychoanalytic school consultant can help bridge the gap between our wish to instill values and skills and some of the obstacles the individual student and school community might face.

Through two case examples, one of a latency-age boy who struggled with aggressive impulses, and the other an adolescent caught in a “sexting” scandal, we delineate how the consultant using a psychoanalytic lens can intervene with the students, parents, faculty, and administration to facilitate the type of growth and education desired.

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