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Brody, S. (1961). Some Aspects of Transference Resistance in Prepuberty. Psychoanal. St. Child, 16:251-274.

(1961). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 16:251-274

Some Aspects of Transference Resistance in Prepuberty

Sylvia Brody, Ph.D.

From a theoretical standpoint, major resistances in analysis should be explainable for the child in the same way that they are for the adult. It is true that those resistances that stem from the analytic position and from the compulsion to repeat are alike for both child and adult; yet to dwell on these major similarities is to blur certain vital distinctions between resistances that are integral to different states of maturity, to childhood and adulthood. For even among those resistances that are alike for both child and adult, there are special qualities in the resistances of children that arise from their very childishness, and which demand special technical measures and theoretical considerations. It is with the latter problems that I shall deal in this paper.

The child consciously assumes a right to withhold information, to deny conflict, and to invite the analyst to act out with him; and it is usual for him to respond to interpretive remarks with deliberate plans to speak, hear, and see nothing in the analytic setting. These childlike and phase-specific resistances present technically difficult but relatively minor problems. The major problems, as is known, come from the child's uneven mastery of instinctual drive derivatives, uneven maturity of ego functions, and not yet moderated superego demands (Bornstein, 1945); (A. Freud, 1926). And dominating the child's entire behavior, there is his narcissism: often it appears as if the child perceives a relationship between conflict and character, and feels obliged to defend rather than to permit analysis of his defenses.

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