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Mészáros, J. (2014). Ferenczi's “wise baby” phenomenon and resilience. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 23(1):3-10.

(2014). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 23(1):3-10


Ferenczi's “wise baby” phenomenon and resilience

Judit Mészáros

How did psychoanalysis find its way from “traumatic progression” or “precocious maturity,” as described by Ferenczi at the beginning of the 1930s with its background in the “wise baby” phenomenon, to research on resilience? The paper focuses on psychoanalytic approaches to resilience. What was the contribution of ego psychology, object relations and attachment theories, self-psychology, and group experiences to understanding resilience? Results concerning resilience are based on longitudinal studies of early hospitalized or traumatized but “resilient children,” child survivors of genocides, wars, and communal violence, populations of children and adult refugees. The paper shows the different approaches to resilience, from factoral components to views of structures and processes, including the new ideas that place resilience and depletion as phenomena at the two ends of the same continuity of structural dimensions: psychobiological and object relational.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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