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(1954). Revista De Psicoanálisis. IX, 1952: Transference in Child Analysis With Special Reference to the Beginning of Treatment. Arminda A. de Pichon-Riviere. Pp. 265-310.. Psychoanal Q., 23:474-475.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revista De Psicoanálisis. IX, 1952: Transference in Child Analysis With Special Reference to the Beginning of Treatment. Arminda A. de Pichon-Riviere. Pp. 265-310.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:474-475

Revista De Psicoanálisis. IX, 1952: Transference in Child Analysis With Special Reference to the Beginning of Treatment. Arminda A. de Pichon-Riviere. Pp. 265-310.

The author selects from her detailed records material evidencing transference for the purpose of demonstrating that 'play … shows in an immediate and spontaneous way the positive and negative feelings of the child', and that such play should always be interpreted. 'If the child's behavior in the first session and the most urgent material it presents in that session are interpreted to it in a manner that takes into account the whole situation and not merely the symbolism of the play, transference is established' (pp. 266-267). Everyone develops in infancy certain characteristics and certain ways of approaching love and hate which are repeated in later life. The child has intense libidinal expectations, and an intense, repetitive need for its libidinal object; it therefore suffers more intensely from anxiety. This fact makes easy the access to its mechanisms of personalization and symbolization. The situations relieved in its acting out derive from preverbal events and material belonging to a time prior to conscious remembering. Two clinical descriptions illustrate the author's point of view.

Martha, a girl of six, suffered from anorexia, enuresis, and severe speech difficulties (her only words were 'papa, mama, atá'), and tended to fall and to be easily hurt. She was seen four times weekly for two-and-one-half years; she remains improved six months after termination of treatment. A two-and-one-half-year-old boy who suffered from anorexia, night terrors, urinary and fecal incontinence,

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and frequent sore throat with high fever, was also treated for two-and-one-half years, five times weekly, and remains improved about four years after the end of treatment.

This reviewer feels that the author should have explained in more detail the rationale of dealing with transference by its direct interpretation at the very start of treatment. For instance, the analyst interpreted to the little girl Martha in the first session, on the basis of a game played by the child, that Martha 'closes the hole in Mama to prevent things from going in or out; that is why Martha needs to watch Mama'. 'These games', says the author, 'allowed Martha to symbolize the reason for her being incomplete and insufficient and her consequent jealousy and fears of the transference'. But in the tenth session the analyst is still interpreting 'that she wanted boys and girls to be equals'; this time the child answers 'yes' to the analyst. Does not the contrast between this yes and the earlier response to similar interpretations express something significant? Do not these different reactions suggest that timing is important in correctness of interpretation? How the author evaluated interpretations is not clear. The article nevertheless deserves thorough study.

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Article Citation

(1954). Revista De Psicoanálisis. IX, 1952. Psychoanal. Q., 23:474-475

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