A single case of psychoanalytic infant observation and what it reveals about loss and recovery in infancy

Shallcross, Wendy (2019) A single case of psychoanalytic infant observation and what it reveals about loss and recovery in infancy. In: New discoveries in child psychotherapy: Findings from qualitative research. The Tavistock Clinic Series . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 31-62. ISBN 9780367244101

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The existence of unconscious mental states within individuals is a fundamental premise in psychoanalytic enquiry. The conjunction of facts arising from psychoanalytic thought, line-by-line, in-vivo, and focused selective coding established the meaning and cause of effects. Psychoanalytic infant observation holds a unique position in relation to this ongoing theoretical interplay, as it both continues the psychoanalytic tradition and establishes the technique as a valid method of studying babies in a naturalistic setting. The infant observation concerns aspects of developmental continuity/discontinuity, with reference to how significant environmental change impacted upon the infant’s developing psyche. The infant requires an internal resilience that can withstand the uncertainty and doubt created by broken contact and to find the means by which new links can be sustained and nourished. When the infant does allow himself to be “gathered together” into reciprocal exchanges, his body movements return once again to a more discernible rhythm, and he enters a more integrated state.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2009

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