Psychoanalysis with Children: History, Theory and Practice


This text is a major contribution to the theory and practice of psychoanalysis with children from a Lacanian perspective, and the first of its kind in the English language. It critically examines the theoretical approaches and clinical practices of the psychoanalysts that historically have prevailed in the field: Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein and her school, D.W. Winnicott, Jacques Lacan and Rosine and Robert Lefort. The critique is organised around four fundamental questions: the child as an autonomous analysand; the rationale for the psychoanalytic treatment of children; the child and the family; the ethics of psychoanalysis and the desire of the analyst who works with children. It shows that psychoanalysis with children is an integral part of psychoanalysis, not a separate discipline. The child enters an analysis not as a child but as a subject, an analysand in the full sense of the term, capable of working in analysis as any grown-up, and frequently better than grown-ups at that. Hence the title, psychoanalysis with children, rather than of children. With more than 25 years of clinical experience with children and their parents, as well as research on psychoanalytic concepts and practical applications, Leonardo Rodriguez also presents his views on a number of issues of crucial relevance for psychoanalytic theory and practice with children including the process of acquisition of a sexual orientation; the handling of the transference and the end of the treatment; the treatment of childhood psychosis and autism; the maternal superego; the contribution of psychoanalysis to the history and modern conceptions of childhood.

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