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Blum, H.P. (2007). Little Hans: A Centennial Review and Reconsideration. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 55(3):749-765.

(2007). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 55(3):749-765

Little Hans Revisited: Original Paper

Little Hans: A Centennial Review and Reconsideration

Harold P. Blum

Freud's “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy” (1909) has stimulated nterminable “reanalysis.” The case of Little Hans, an unprecedented experimental child analytic treatment, is reexamined in the light of newer theory and newly derestricted documents. The understanding of the complex overdetermination of Hans's phobia was not possible in the heroic age of psychoanalysis. Current analytic thought, as well as distance de-idealization vis-à-vis the pioneering past, has potentiated a reformation of the case. The severe disturbance of his mother had an adverse impact on Little Hans and his family. Her abuse of Hans's infant sister has been overlooked by generations of analysts. Trauma, child abuse, parental strife, and the preoedipal mother-child relationship emerge as important issues that intensified Hans's pathogenic oedipal conflicts and trauma. With limited, yet remarkable help from his father and Freud, Little Hans nevertheless had the ego strength and resilience to resolve his phobia, resume progressive development, and forge a successful creative career.

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