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Edgcumbe, R. (1988). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Volume 41: Edited by Albert J. Solnit and Peter B. Neubauer. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1986. Pp. 667.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 69:572-574.

(1988). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69:572-574

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Volume 41: Edited by Albert J. Solnit and Peter B. Neubauer. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1986. Pp. 667.

Review by:
Rose Edgcumbe

In a psychoanalytic annual of the calibre of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child one does not expect a mere collection of clinical accounts of child analyses. It has long been the editorial policy of the P.S.C. that papers should make some original contribution to theory or technique, and to include observational studies and research on childhood development and psychopathology. Nonetheless, one does expect the majority of the papers to be about children. It is, therefore, disconcerting to find that of 28 papers, only 1 contains detailed material from a child analysis; another 2 give fairly full accounts of adolescent analyses; 4 use briefer vignettes or summaries from child or adolescent analyses, and 4 describe psychoanalytic observations of children or some form of psychoanalytically oriented therapeutic intervention: a total of 11 papers about children or adolescents. A further 11 papers use material from adult analyses. The remaining 6 present no clinical material.

One must ask what this imbalance means. Is it a reflection of diminishing interest in child analysis on the part of either analysts or patients? Certainly there has been concern in both European and American training institutions about the dearth of 'good' child analytic cases, as well as some concern about falling numbers of candidates for training. Does it represent a shift of psychoanalytic interest from studying child development through child analysis to applying the findings gained thereby in work with adults? Certainly many analysts believe that their clinical work with adults is enhanced by the better understanding of developmental issues gained from child analysis.

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