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Davies, M. (2002). A few thoughts about the mind, the brain, and a child with early deprivation. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(3):421-435.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(3):421-435

A few thoughts about the mind, the brain, and a child with early deprivation

Miranda Davies

Infant brain research is having an increasing impact on child psychotherapy and our understanding of the neurobiological effects of trauma and neglect. This paper outlines the ‘experience-dependent’ nature of brain development in infancy and the concept of critical periods in such development. The effects of deprivation on child development are illustrated and case material from a child who was institutionalized during his second year is used as a basis for posing questions about the nature of the mind and the brain. In spite of his deprivation, he was able to communicate imaginatively. Schore's proposal for the use of early interventions is put forward to counter discouragement that can be engendered by work with severely deprived children.

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