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Cavalli, A. (2005). Rodriguez De La Sierra, L. (ED). Child Analysis Today. Karnac: London & New York, 2004. Pp 115. Pbk. £12.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(3):400-401.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(3):400-401

Rodriguez De La Sierra, L. (ED). Child Analysis Today. Karnac: London & New York, 2004. Pp 115. Pbk. £12.99.

Review by:
Alessandra Cavalli

In this slim volume six prominent child analysts from the three different schools of the British Psychoanalytical Society, inspired by three great contributors to child analysis, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein and D. W. Winnicott, have-been asked to reflect upon the importance of child analysis today and to provide an insight into the nature of their different approaches.

Their major differences are explored in the introduction. Kleinians believe in an infant who is object-related from the beginning of life, equipped with a rudimentary existing psychic activity (phantasy), which gives form to his instinctual life and elaborates external events internally. This infant has to come to terms with primary envy, the manifestation of the death instinct, which is the main cause of primitive anxiety: the fear of destroying himself and his objects. Kleinians address the internal relationships between objects and self through the analysis of the transference in children and in adult patients. Anna Freudians, on the other hand, postulate an infant sheltered in a primary narcissism at birth, who only accommodates the reality principle gradually. Object relations then become tenable. Anna Freudians stress the importance of developmental phases, and see the earlier form of conflict as external (the child's immature ego sides with his wishes and impulses, but is dependent on his external objects and gets into battle with them over the satisfactions of his needs and wishes). The resulting anxiety is fear of abandonment if object relations has not been established, and fear of the loss of the object's love if object constancy has been established.

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