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Garma, A. (1962). The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship—Contributions to Discussion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:252-253.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:252-253

The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship—Contributions to Discussion Related Papers

Angel Garma


I should like to take two points into consideration. One of them is that of pre-verbal communication, which, as Miss Freud pointed out, during the first few months of life is that which specifies the election of the individual's neurosis; not only neurosis but also organic diseases—psychosomatic diseases. During those first few months of life, traumas occur which lead an individual to have certain organic reactions in the shape of one specific disease or another. I have been able to study it in some cases, e.g. with peptic ulcer patients. The peptic ulcer can usually be traced back to very specific traumas in the first few months of life which are related to the oral phase. The mother of these patients generally satisfies the child's wishes during the first stage of the oral phase and does not satisfy the infant in the second stage. In other words, she feeds the child well in the sucking stage, but does not feed it well and frustrates it in the second stage, when she has to give it more elaborate forms of food.

A second point I should like to make is one which Lagache has already dealt with and of which Greenacre has made a very thorough study. I am referring to intra-uterine life. There is a sentence of Freud's which is significant in this connexion.

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