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Veszy-Wagner, L. (1969). L'Enfant Arrièré Et Sa Mère: By Maud Mannoni. Paris: Editions du Seuil. 1964. Le premier rendez-vous avec le psychanalyste. By Maud Mannoni. Paris: Gauthier. 1965. L'enfant, sa 'maladie' et les autres. By Maud Mannoni. Paris: Editions du Seuil. 1967.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:414-415.
(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:414-415
L'Enfant Arrièré Et Sa Mère: By Maud Mannoni. Paris: Editions du Seuil. 1964. Le premier rendez-vous avec le psychanalyste. By Maud Mannoni. Paris: Gauthier. 1965. L'enfant, sa 'maladie' et les autres. By Maud Mannoni. Paris: Editions du Seuil. 1967.
Review by: L. Veszy-Wagner
These three books, as shown by their titles, all deal with the psychoanalysis of children. It would be more correct to say that they deal with something which, optimistically, one would, as the author suggests, call the prophylactic treatment of children with mental troubles. However, the cynic could also say that these children are past the stage when treatment could be called prophylactic. It may be remedial—indeed, it often is—but sometimes the case may also be, unfortunately, past remedy. These children are frequently autistic. This fact poses a very serious problem, wider in scope than the natural limitations of books with a similar character. This concerns the natural desperation of the child psychoanalyst who, in most cases, is called in, if at all, only when the case has already become very serious, sometimes even past hope. First, parental narcissism, disguised as parental 'optimism', often bypasses serious symptoms if they are not of the clamouring kind, and, secondly, parents usually do not want seriously to co-operate with the therapist, partly because of jealousy, and partly also because they unconsciously feel guilty (more often than not rightly so) of having at least partly caused the child's predicament through their behaviour, their own neurosis, narcissism, ignorance, antagonism and/or lack of a proper sense of responsibility. This is one of the reasons why not only the above books, by a very capable author, but also most case histories in childpsychoanalysis today show an increasing trend towards dealing with more psychotic than neurotic children.
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