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Shane, M. (1967). Encopresis in a Latency Boy—An Arrest Along a Developmental Line. Psychoanal. St. Child, 22:296-314.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 22:296-314

Encopresis in a Latency Boy—An Arrest Along a Developmental Line

Morton Shane, M.D.


The first three years in the analysis of an eight-year-old suffering from encopresis were presented. The literature was reviewed. Anna Freud's developmental line "from wetting and soiling to bladder and bowel control" was used to organize the clinical material. Encopresis could then be seen as an arrest along this developmental line. Progress in the analysis seemed to derive primarily from insight via interpretation but also from reactions to the analyst as a new object. Regression from oedipal conflicts did much to reinforce the prominent anal fixations. Autonomous internalization of bowel control was accomplished only after these oedipal conflicts had to some extent been resolved. Progress then occurred in a stepwise fashion along the developmental line.

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