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Frankel, A.K. (1979). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXI, 1976: Psychotherapy with Mentally Retarded Children. Edith Smith; Rosemary McKinnon; Jane Kessler. Pp. 493-514.. Psychoanal Q., 48:528-528.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXI, 1976: Psychotherapy with Mentally Retarded Children. Edith Smith; Rosemary McKinnon; Jane Kessler. Pp. 493-514.

(1979). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 48:528-528

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXI, 1976: Psychotherapy with Mentally Retarded Children. Edith Smith; Rosemary McKinnon; Jane Kessler. Pp. 493-514.

Alice Kross Frankel

After discussing the neglect that retarded children suffer from our profession and reminding the reader that retardation does not preclude neurotic conflicts and emotional disturbances, the authors present the problems and the potential of psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy for neurotically disturbed retarded children. They outline the factors that make "classical" analysis unworkable: the retarded child's frequently tenuous reality testing; the diminished hunger for new experience and new objects; the analyst's becoming too important and then devastating to separate from; the need for much educational intervention and direct guidance. The particular problems in work with the parents are discussed as well. Nonetheless, psychoanalytic thinking can lead to valuable psychotherapeutic interventions. After presenting the details of a specific case, the authors describe the critical role of delayed speech development, leading to divergent emotional development. Delayed speech does not merely postpone normal development; it distorts it for a number reasons. It impairs parental pleasure and pride in the child; it leaves the child ill-equipped to interact with verbal agemates; and an ever-widening discrepancy in developmental lines with greater delay of speech development than motor development results in anal-sadistic phase ambivalence with inadequately developed ego equipment to deal with it.

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Article Citation

Frankel, A.K. (1979). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXI, 1976. Psychoanal. Q., 48:528-528

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