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Schmutz, G.A. (2019). The psychoanalyst and the child: From the consultation to psychoanalytic treatment: by Michel Ody, New York, Routledge, 2019, $39.95, 233 pp. ISBN: 978-1-138-38926-7. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 100(4):811-813.

(2019). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 100(4):811-813

The psychoanalyst and the child: From the consultation to psychoanalytic treatment: by Michel Ody, New York, Routledge, 2019, $39.95, 233 pp. ISBN: 978-1-138-38926-7

Review by:
Gretchen A. Schmutz

In this newly translated book, Michel Ody puts forth his vision of the psychoanalytic treatment of children based upon his many years of work as a psychoanalyst and psychiatric consultant at the Alfred Binet Centre in Paris. His book is ambitious in its scope as he outlines his conception of psychoanalytic work with children from the first meeting to the end of treatment. A central idea in his book is his distinction between his use of intermittent psychoanalytic consultations with parents and children from individual child analysis. In consultations, the work is between the analyst, the child, and his parents. In both consultations and analysis, Ody's aim is to allow the unconscious of the child to be elaborated as he sees this as essential to facilitate development. Ody's book is distinctive in the clarity and specificity with which he defines the role and function of his relationship with a child's parents in achieving this goal.

Consultations function as a mean of encouraging a child and his/her parents towards a receptivity and a sensibility about the unconscious and infantile sexuality. Ody uses consultation both as a therapeutic tool and as a gauge for whether an individual child analysis is recommended. In the consultations, Ody is looking for some degree of progression or movement in associativity. Time between consultations could be weeks, months or longer. Thus, the analyst is assessing the feasibility and necessity of analysis by observing the limits of both the child and the parents to engage in the process.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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