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Steele, B.F. (1994). Psychoanalysis and the Maltreatment of Children. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:1001-1025.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:1001-1025

Psychoanalysis and the Maltreatment of Children

Brandt F. Steele, M.D.


This essay presents some of the ideas derived from 30 years of observing and treating abused children and those who abuse them. Although most of these patients have not been in what could be called classical analysis, psychoanalytic principles have been crucially important in understanding their behavior and psychodynamics. I also believe that the study of their life histories can often enhance and sometimes broaden many of our psychoanalytic concepts, especially of ego and superego development and expression.

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