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Sidoli, M. (1996). Archetypal Patterns, Mental Representations, and Replicative Processes in Infancy. Psychoanal. Rev., 83(4):491-507.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Review, 83(4):491-507

Archetypal Patterns, Mental Representations, and Replicative Processes in Infancy

Mara Sidoli

In this paper I will discuss the connection between Jung's concept of archetypes as organizers of experience, the Jungian development model adopted by Michael Fordham, and the concept of mental representations as described by infant researchers. I will also explore the importance of replicative sequences in the development of the interaction between mother and child. Using case material from infant observations, I will demonstrate how both members of the dyad, given their unique individual needs, temperaments and idiosyncratic behavior, constellate from very early on the life-enhancing or the life-destroying aspects of the mother and child archetypes.

I received my training as a child and adult analytical psychologist in London at the Society of Analytical Psychology (SAP). At that time, the director of the Jungian child analysis training program, Dr. Michael Fordham, had introduced an experimental seminar on infant observation. The seminar had been developed at the Tavistock clinic by the Kleinian analyst, Ester Bick. When Dr. Fordham first introduced his seminar, the close connection with Kleinian methodologies created some uneasy feelings among the SAP members. In particular, the infant observation seminar stirred controversy within the broader Jungian analytic community. Many traditional Jungians could not see the relevance of observing an infant's actions in the early stages of mental and emotional functioning. After all, Jung had not been interested in infants; his emphasis had stressed the importance of the development of the psyche in the second half of life. However, Dr.

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