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Abbate, G.M. (1964). Child Analysis at Different Developmental Stages. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 12:135-150.

(1964). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 12:135-150

Child Analysis at Different Developmental Stages

Grace McLean Abbate, M.D.

Elisabeth R. Geleerd pointed to the importance of presenting clinical material from the analyses of children in different developmental phases, with examination of the variations in technique necessitated by such age differences. In a paper entitled "Introduction: A Critique of Recent Developments in Child Analysis, " Eleanor Galenson attempted to establish a correlation between the refinements of child analysis since Anna Freud's 1928 publication, The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Children, and the advances in general psychoanalytic knowledge and child development since then. In her formulation of the child analytic situation and process, as first conceived and practiced, Galenson emphasized the view that the child serves partly as a transference object and also as a real new object with whom the child can establish a new relationship. Therefore, the child analyst could never be the "shadowy" figure to the same extent as is the adult analyst. Besides, the psychological immaturity of the child demands that the analyst assume an additional role—that of an auxiliary ego and superego.

She spoke about the gradual and subtle changes in the areas of preoedipal events, defense mechanisms, and lines of development, referring to the work of Anna Freud, Spitz, and Mahler, and the theoretical papers of Hartmann, Kris, and Loewenstein in demonstrating the central importance of the mother in the instinctual and ego development of the child.

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