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Tyson, P. (2009). Child Development and Child Psychoanalysis: Research and Education. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(4):871-879.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(4):871-879

Child Analysis and Development Section

Child Development and Child Psychoanalysis: Research and Education

Phyllis Tyson

The field of child and adolescent psychoanalysis shows signs of renewed invigoration and development. There is a greater commitment to research, bolstered by expanding education and training. Four of the five papers in this section represent some form of research, and although these studies may not attain the highest standards of empirical research, they nevertheless provide valuable information. Ideally, they may inspire others to make similar contributions.

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) took a giant leap into the future when, in 2007, it approved psychoanalytic education with clinical training focused on children and adolescents. Institutes that choose to do so can now establish a separate training track permitting some candidates to specialize in the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents without the requirement of training first with adults. The first steps were taken in 2001, when the Board on Professional Standards (BOPS) agreed to a plan submitted by the Committee on Child and Adolescent Analysis (COCAA). The design was for a pilot study to determine the feasibility and desirability of child-and-adolescent-focused clinical training. That move marked the culmination of a long and often heated debate about the timing of clinical training in child/adolescent psychoanalysis in relation to adult training. Morales and Farley describe some of this history, but to put it in context it is helpful to understand the earliest circumstances of child analytic work and training.

Not long after Freud's publication of his work with Little Hans, other analysts (e.g., Hug-Hellmuth 1912, 1921) began to work directly with children. These child analytic pioneers (Hug-Hellmuth and Anna Freud in Vienna; Berta Bornstein, Melanie Klein, Ada Mueller-Braunschweig in Berlin; Steff Bornstein in Prague; Alice Balint in Budapest) began this work before the founding of institutes, and hence their clinical observations, technical interventions, and theoretical ideas developed individually and independently.

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