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Feldman, B. (2002). The lost steps of infancy: Symbolization, analytic process and the growth of the self. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(3):397-406.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(3):397-406

The lost steps of infancy: Symbolization, analytic process and the growth of the self

Brian Feldman, Ph.D.

In ‘The Lost Steps’ the Latin American novelist Alejo Carpentier describes the search by the protagonist for the origins of music among native peoples in the Amazon jungle. This metaphor can be utilized as a way of understanding the search for the pre-verbal origins of the self in analysis. The infant's experience of the tempo and rhythmicity of the mother/infant interaction and the bathing in words and sounds of the infant by the mother are at the core of the infant's development of the self. The infant observation method (Tavistock model) will be looked at as a way of developing empathy in the analyst to better understand infantile, pre-verbal states of mind. A case vignette from an adult analysis will be utilized to illustrate the theoretical concepts.

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