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Hoffer, W. (1945). Psychoanalytic Education. Psychoanal. St. Child, 1:293-307.

(1945). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1:293-307

Psychoanalytic Education

Willie Hoffer, M.D.

Since psychoanalysis has come into being its data and theory have influenced educational doctrine and methods increasingly. This is because it has always focussed interest on individual history, and especially on childhood development. Thus certain behavior disorders which in pre-analytic days were considered evidence of simulation or naughtiness are now considered manifestations of neurotic conflicts or fairly normal accompaniments of growth. However, it would be a mistake to assume that the relation between psychoanalysis and education has developed beyond its infancy. Even the most optimistic can only say that during the forty years that have elapsed since the inception of psychoanalysis there have been some remarkable instances of its successful application to education.

Three facts have now been realized: first, that the teachings of psychoanalysis in regard to childhood and adolescence can in the future hardly be confined to a chapter or two of general instruction but must become a subject for postgraduate study; second, that child analysts and educators must work together; and third, that though the main demand for psychoanalytic instruction now comes from social workers, clinical psychologists, teachers, and workers in special institutions (like the Southard School, Menninger Clinic, Topeka), the interest of all kinds of educators in its preventive possibilities will gradually be enlisted.

Some plans have already been considered. In its Five-year Report (1932-37) the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis (1) states:

During the past year the demand on the part of teachers and schools for psychoanalytic instruction and consultations has definitely increased.

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