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Loewald, H.W. (1974). Current Status of the Concept of Infantile Neurosis—Discussion. Psychoanal. St. Child, 29:183-188.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 29:183-188

Current Status of the Concept of Infantile Neurosis—Discussion

Hans W. Loewald, M.D.

MY DISCUSSION IS BASED ON THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE INFANTILE neurosis in the psychoanalytic treatment of adults. Not being a child analyst or investigator of child development, I cannot speak from experience about infantile neurosis in the sense of clinical neuroses or neurotic manifestations seen in childhood. I speak from the vantage point of what adult patients report about their symptoms or more diffuse disturbances, which are remembered with more or less reliable accuracy and sophistication from their own childhood or of which they have gained knowledge from parents and other adults. On the basis of such reports it is at times possible to come to the conviction that the patient indeed suffered from a neurotic syndrome, such as a school phobia, or hysterical vomiting, or periods of depression of pathological porportions. In such cases it is often possible to reconstruct convincingly the psychological setting in which these events occurred, to relate them to pathogenic relations with important environmental figures and/or to phase-specific psychosexual conflicts.

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