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Abrams, S. (2014). “Frankie” Revisited: Foundational Concepts in Flux—An Introduction to the Section. Psychoanal. St. Child, 68:91-97.

(2014). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 68:91-97

Bornstein's Classic: The “Frankie” Case Revisited

“Frankie” Revisited: Foundational Concepts in Flux—An Introduction to the Section

Samuel Abrams, M.D.

The author offers his own historical review of the celebrated “Frankie” case, contextualizing it within political as well as scientific challenges. In addition, he provides an introductory survey of the three contributions that are to follow in the section. Similarities and differences are underscored, as contemporary child analysts revisit this acknowledged “classic” reported more than sixty years ago. In the revisiting and even in one instance where it is surprisingly a first reading, similarities and differences between there-and-then as contrasted with here-and-now reflections prove quite illuminating. There is considerable lauding of the revolutionary nature of the original case on the one hand, along with some open criticisms on the other. Several of the scholars suggest that the technique and the theories of pathogenesis and therapeutic action might well benefit from some selective updating of cognitive stance to the organization of clinical data. In this regard, adding nonlinear thinking to the original reductionism bias gets a strong boost—although that proposal doesn't quite achieve the decisive definition that permits it to flourish.

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