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Freud, W.E. (1975). Infant Observation—Its Relevance to Psychoanalytic Training. Psychoanal. St. Child, 30:75-94.

(1975). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 30:75-94

Infant Observation—Its Relevance to Psychoanalytic Training

W. Ernest Freud


Mother-infant observation is presented as a meaningful and versatile tool directly relevant to the teaching of psychoanalysis. It serves to prepare the candidate for successive stages of his psychoanalytic training. Some of the differences, as well as parallels, between direct observation and observation in the analytic situation are pointed out and discussed.

The question is posed whether the time has not come for a radical reappraisal of existing curricula: most institutes provide a genetic view of infantile life, based on analytic reconstruction through following mental processes back to their origins. Observing ongoing progressive development would seem the ideal complement. It is suggested that training be organized around a central experience of intensive longitudinal studies of the first four to six years of the child's life.

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