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Solnit, A.J. (2001). Introduction and Historical Perspective. Psychoanal. St. Child, 56:3-8.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 56:3-8

Special Section on Changes in Technique in Child Psychoanalysis since the Publication of Normality and Pathology in Childhood by Anna Freud

Introduction and Historical Perspective

Albert J. Solnit, M.D.

On 11 March 2000 the Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund and The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, with the support of the Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, cosponsored a clinical scientific meeting—Symposium on Changes in the Technique of Child Psychoanalysis since the Publication of Anna Freud's Normality and Pathology in Childhood (1965)—to reflect on changes in the technique of child psychoanalysis since the publication of Anna Freud's classic work. The nine papers that follow in this special section were presented at that meeting, and in two cases we include the discussions as well. The following excerpt from a 1961 paper by Peter Neubauer, a pioneer in child analysis, will set the historical perspective for these papers.

The scientific study of child development did not begin until the twentieth century, which has been called, among other things, the Century of the Child. If it is to live up to this label, we must make better use of the next forty years than we have of the past sixty. But the revolution in child psychiatry is still relatively young, and I will begin by trying to sketch the somewhat erratic course it has taken so far.

If I dwell on the thought and influence of [Sigmund] Freud, it is because I speak as a child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst…. Freud was the first to attempt to give us a body of scientific knowledge that would lead to a general psychology of man.

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