Medium 9781855753754

Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and the Psychoanalysis of Children and Adolescents

Views: 634
Ratings: (0)

The central theme of this book is concerned with the controversies on technique between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein in the 1920s and 1930s, and with a clear differentiation between child analysis proper and analytical child psychotherapy. Alex Holder takes into account the historic background in which child psychoanalysis developed, especially World War II and the Nazi regime in Germany. The author also looks at the way child psychoanalysis developed in specific institutions, such as the Hampstead Child Therapy Course in London, and in specific areas, such as the spread of child analysis in the US. The concluding chapter is on the importance of knowledge of child analysis among psychoanalysts working with adults. The differences in the theories of the two "greats" in child analysis, Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, are examined one by one, including such concepts as the role of transference, the Oedipus complex and the superego.

List price: $28.99

Your Price: $23.19

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

5 Slices

Format Buy Remix

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction

ePub

“Much that is of interest attaches to these child analyses; it is possible that in the future they will become still more important. From the point of view of theory, their value is beyond question. They give unambiguous information on problems which remain unsolved in the analyses of adults; and they thus protect the analyst from errors that might have momentous consequences for him”

Sigmund Freud, 1926e, p. 215

Child analysis and adolescent analysis have often been called the stepchild of psychoanalysis because, since their beginnings in the 1920s, they have never succeeded in achieving the degree of recognition among the psychoanalytic community that they really deserve. This is also reflected, for example, in the fact that the status of child analyst has been officially recognized by the International Psychoanalytical Association only in the last few years.1 There are a number of reasons for this marginal existence within the field of psychoanalysis. Prominent among these is no doubt the fact that many adult analysts regard child analysis merely as an application of the method of treatment developed by Sigmund Freud for adults—an attitude that amounts to disparagement. Even if it is possible to endorse this view owing to the technical modifications necessary when working with children, it must nevertheless be emphasized that child analysis is just as analytical as its adult counterpart; that is to say it has the same characteristics and pursues the same objectives as those mentioned in Freud’s 1923 definition of psychoanalysis—namely that it is “(1) […] a procedure for the investigation of mental processes which are almost inaccessible in any other way (2) […] a method […] for the treatment of neurotic disorders and (3) […] a collection of psychological information obtained along those lines, which is gradually being accumulated into a new scientific discipline” (Freud, 1923a, p. 235). The analytical treatment of children and adolescents wholly satisfies these criteria and demands, and can therefore claim to be regarded as psychoanalysis proper, although it must be granted that the analytical setting and technique differ appreciably from those of adult analysis. Unlike adults, children cannot use the couch, nor are they able to free-associate. Instead they play, paint, and play-act; these manifestations can be seen as equivalents of free association, although this view is not universally accepted (see Chapter Three, pp. 76-80). Furthermore, the child analyst often finds himself2 actively involved by the child in whatever is taking place in the sessions. Again, children lack motivation for treatment because they do not yet have insight into their illness.

 

CHAPTER TWO: The origins of child analysis

ePub

As stated earlier, in her “Short history of child analysis” Anna Freud mentioned the names of colleagues who had expanded the field of application of psychoanalysis to “other ages [than adults] as well as other categories of disturbance [than the neuroses]” (Freud, A., 1966a, p. 49). She refers in this connection to Siegfried Bernfeld’s study and treatment of disturbed adolescents; August Aichhorn, “who pioneered in the field of wayward youth”; Sadger and his work with perversions; Paul Federn’s experiments with the treatment of psychotics; and the study of criminals by Alexander and Staub. She also named some of the colleagues responsible for the establishment of child analysis at about the same time as herself: Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, Berta Bornstein, Melanie Klein, Ada Müller-Braunschweig, Steff Born-stein, and Alice Balint. However, were these all child analysts in the proper sense of the term? In his biography of Anna Freud, Peters expresses the view that none of them was except for Melanie Klein. He concludes:

 

CHAPTER THREE: The technique of child analysis

ePub

The controversies between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein

The first part of this chapter is devoted entirely to the differing models of the technique of child analysis evolved by Anna Freud and Melanie Klein. These two pioneers, who developed their different theses and techniques more or less simultaneously in Vienna and Berlin respectively may be regarded as the leading figures in the field. I shall discuss the controversies between them on the basis of specific issues whereby their differing conceptions can be demonstrated with particular clarity. My approach will be chronological; that is to say I shall first consider Melanie Klein’s earliest contributions on child analysis, to which Anna Freud refers in her “Four lectures on child analysis” (1927a), and then examine Klein’s comments on Anna Freud’s views as expressed in the “Symposium on child analysis” (1927). However, these works represent only the beginnings of a controversy that dragged on for decades.

First, a word about the intimate relationship between theory and technique. The techniques of child analysis developed by Anna Freud and Melanie Klein are not least a consequence of the two analysts’ differing theories of development—in particular, their conflicting views on superego development, the chronology of the formation of the Oedipus complex, the early fantasy activity of young children, or the significance of the real world and the objects within it. As Hanna Segal (1989, p. 55) rightly notes, psychoanalytic theory has as a rule developed in the opposite direction to the development of the individual: “the study of the adult neurosis led Freud to discover the child in the adult; the study of children led Mrs Klein to the infant in the child”.

 

CHAPTER FOUR: Adolescence

ePub

Istated in my introduction that child analysis had often been seen as the stepchild of psychoanalysis. Turning now to the I adolescent phase of development, I can assert with similar justification that adolescent analysis is, so to speak, the stepchild of child analysis. In the early history of child analysis, the focus of child analysts’ attention, with very few exceptions, was on childhood, Anna Freud and her followers concentrating on the latency period and Melanie Klein and her school on very early childhood.1Adolescence, as a developmental phase fundamentally distinct from its predecessors and worthy of consideration in its own right, has been substantially neglected. As late as in 1957, Anna Freud was obliged to note that “in spite of partial advances, the position with regard to the analytic study of adolescence is not a happy one, and especially unsatisfactory when compared with that of early childhood” (Freud, A., 1958, p. 136f.). She too regrets and deplores the fact that “adolescence is a neglected period, a stepchild, where analytic thinking is concerned” (ibid., p. 137). At the same time she points out

 

CHAPTER FIVE: The significance of child analysis for adult analysis

ePub

In a “Memorandum on her technique” written in the context of the “controversial discussions” in the British Psychoanalytical I Society between 1941 and 1945 (see King & Steiner, 1991), Melanie Klein describes how her analytical work and experience with children influenced her technique with adult patients. She mentions first the transference, which, in analyses of children, she has found to be active—in both its positive and its negative form— from the very beginning. Observing this to be the case in adults too, she would likewise interpret the transference at a very early stage of an adult analysis (Klein, 1943, p. 635). As to her technique of analysing defence mechanisms, Klein again notes how her analyses of children proved fruitful for her technique with adults:

I owe to the analysis of young children a fuller understanding of the earliest object relations, and a new insight into the origin of anxiety, guilt, and conflict. These findings enabled me to develop a technique by which children from two years onwards are being analysed. This technique not only opened up a new and promising field for therapy and research, but had also a strong influence on the technique with adults. [ibid., p. 637]

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
B000000020569
Isbn
9781780495675
File size
633 KB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata