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Rank, B. (1942). Where Child-Analysis Stands Today. Am. Imago, 3C(3):41-60.

(1942). American Imago, 3C(3):41-60

Where Child-Analysis Stands Today

Beata Rank

When I chose as the topic of my lecture today, a general discussion about child-analysis, its meaning, its technic, and some of its theoretical aspects, it was not because there are no specific problems of the child psyche which interest me, and to which I might bring some share of my experience, but because there seems to me to exist still a necessity to clarify where child-analysis stands today, what are its aims, and what are the methods it uses.

You all may know that up to the present day there exist two schools of child-analysis, the one represented by Melanie Klein and the London group (though certainly she has followers among child-analysts all over the continents), and the other, the school of Anna Freud and her Viennese pupils; and here again we may add that the group of her followers does not limit itself only to her direct pupils, who studied with her, but embraces a large number of child-analysts whose previous experiences have found in Anna Freud's formulation a confirmation of their own ideas, a more solid theoretical foundation, or the like, or who became followers of this technic because, having experienced this way and the other, they found in it a sure, satisfying guide, similar to the support the classical technic of adult-analysis offers.

And it is today no more important to adhere literally to either of these two schools than it is to adhere literally to the classic methods of adult analysis created by Freud himself.

Here I will bring up clinical material, out of which we may conclude how much my experiences bring a confirmation of Anna Freud's or Melanie Klein's methods, and how much they are simply the result of analytical Freudian understanding, plus the understanding of the particular language the child is speaking. This last element, the necessity to understand the child's language, is certainly of prime importance.

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