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Hermon, N. (2016). On Becoming a Child: Reverie in the Psychotherapy of Children. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(6):1591-1608.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(6):1591-1608

Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis

On Becoming a Child: Reverie in the Psychotherapy of Children

Nir Hermon

(Accepted for publication 5 January 2016)

My aim in this paper is to examine the role of reverie in facilitating the development of the child-subject, that is, the child's continuous motion towards subjectivity. I begin by briefly reviewing the concept of reverie and proceed with an examination of elements I believe are fundamental and common to both reverie and child psychotherapy, that is, primary thought processes and primitive impulses. I then describe and demonstrate the atmosphere created by these elements using three examples from the psychotherapy of 8 year-old Jonathan. Next, I discuss an intersubjective parallel of Bion's reverie and a developmentally oriented version of Ogden's reverie, focusing on its relation to processes of destruction and recognition. I argue that reverie provides the recognition of the child's struggle for his own birth and growth as a subject, that is, of his child-subject. Finally, I refer to the presence of reverie from the primary preoccupation of mother and father till the child's reverie of himself, his day-dreaming.

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