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Abrams, S. Lustig De Ferrer, E. Isaacs-Elmhirst, S. Sandler, A. (1988). The Psychoanalysis of Children. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 69:1-3.

(1988). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69:1-3

The Psychoanalysis of Children

Sam Abrams, Elfriede Lustig De Ferrer, Sue Isaacs-Elmhirst and Anne-Marie Sandler

It is nearly eighty years since Freud extended psychoanalysis to children, albeit only indirectly in 'Little Hans', that most famous of all psychoanalysed youngsters. The fact that we are devoting the first two Parts of Volume 15 of the International Review of Psycho-Analysis to papers on children and adolescents emphasizes the increasing awareness of the vitally important impact made on psychoanalysis as a whole by the psychoanalysis of children.

It was an encouraging surprise to receive so many good and varied contributions from all over the world, although there is still only a minority of psychoanalysts working psychoanalytically with children and adolescents. The far-reaching effects of this work on the development of psychoanalytical theory in general and the wider implications for family life, child care, education and aesthetics are incalculable.

It had been intended to reserve only one Part of the Review for this important topic, but the number of papers received led to the Editor's decision to extend it to two Parts. He did draw the line, however, at including a third Part, since there is great pressure on the space available in our two journals. Regretfully, therefore, we decided to exclude a number of interesting papers on the history of the psychoanalysis of children. We have had also to be very stringent in our selection of the best papers contributed. We apologize to those contributors whom we have had to disappoint.

It will be seen that there is as much variety in the psychoanalytical approaches to children and adolescents as to adult patients—perhaps more. The views expressed in the various papers are, of course, those of the individual authors and all of us are not necessarily in agreement with all the technical approaches and clinical conclusions described. But we hope that we have managed to give an overview of the great variety of clinical methods and theoretical positions that exist in the psychoanalytical treatment of children, the papers on whom start in Part I and adolescents, the papers on whom are in Part II.

It is our pleasure to thank the many contributors to this unique endeavour, as well as all our other anonymous but essential helpers, especially the patients themselves and the staff of the International Journal and Review of Psycho-Analysis.

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