Dialogue With Sammy

Joyce McDougall & Serge Lebovici



IBSN: 9781853431098 Category:


This is a pioneering study, showing that it is possible to establish a dialogue with a psychotic child, and that schizophrenia in small children is treatable. It is also pioneering in another sense: there are few blow-by-blow analyses of psychotic children. Quite literally, Sammy insisted that McDougall write during sessions and hit her if she stopped. The case was supervised by Serge Lebovici, the co-author. The book appeared in French before Melanie Klein’s classic Narrative of a Child Analysis . D.W. Winnicott provides a preface and it is thanks to his admiration for the study that it was translated into English. After Sammy went back to the USA – to Bruno Bettelheim’s Orthogenic School in Chicago – his mother went into treatment with Joyce McDougall, and an account of this forms the last quarter of the book. Dialogue With Sammy constitutes a very close look at the processes of primitive thought, accurately recorded, placed in the context of a maternal relationship and reflected upon by one of the most sensitive and thoughtful psychoanalysts.

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