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Bodin, G. (2012). The Early Years of Life. Psychoanalytical Development Theory According to Freud, Klein and Bion By Gertraud Diem-Wille. London: Karnac Books. 2011. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 35(2):133-134.

(2012). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 35(2):133-134

The Early Years of Life. Psychoanalytical Development Theory According to Freud, Klein and Bion By Gertraud Diem-Wille. London: Karnac Books. 2011

Review by:
Gudrun Bodin

The author of this book is a Professor of Psychology and a child psychoanalyst in Austria. The idea of writing an introduction to psychoanalytic development psychology arose when she was directing the university course “Psychoanalytic Observational Studies” and during her teaching activities in training seminars for psychoanalysts in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association. She had become aware of the lack of general and clear representations of normal child development during the first three years of life, based on the theories of Freud, Klein and Bion. This book seeks to meet that need.

As we all know, the psychoanalytic movement started in Vienna, but after the Nazi takeover, the centre was moved to London, where Freud, Klein and later Bion worked. This is also where the author continued her studies after her graduation from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. Here she was trained in Ester Bick's method of infant observation and in the parent-child therapeutic intervention known as the “Under Five's Counselling Service,” and was assisted in her work with child analysis by distinguished psychoanalysts in London. In her foreword to the English translation, the author notes that she sought to bring together the respective approaches of these three pioneers and to integrate them into a metapsychology of the development of the child during the first three years, a process which students training in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy often find very difficult.

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