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Sugarman, A. (2003). A New Model for Conceptualizing Insightfulness in the Psychoanalysis of Young Children. Psychoanal Q., 72(2):325-355.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(2):325-355

A New Model for Conceptualizing Insightfulness in the Psychoanalysis of Young Children

Alan Sugarman, Ph.D.

Traditional definitions of insight fail to take into account the cognitive and developmental limitations of young analysands, who lack the capacity to mentalize. It is suggested that insightfulness be redefined as promoting mentalization in young children. Gaining this key psychological function furthers the internal integration and self-regulation necessary to regain developmental momentum. The central importance of promoting such development in child psychoanalysis suggests that the facilitation of a mechanism for self-understanding, not the interpretation of content, is essential. Insightfulness is facilitated by employing a range of interventions beyond the interpretation of resistance and content, rendering meaningless the distinction between interpretive and relational aspects of the analyst's role.

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