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March 18, 1933

The Psycho-Analysis of Children.

JAMA. 1933;100(11):845. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740110057038

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Tracing back a neurosis to its origin in the individual's life history, one invariably finds its deepest roots in conflicts that arise in the first years of childhood. Melanie Klein is the first analyst to follow out in practice the procedures suggested by this observation—to deal with these conflicts at the time they arise. Applying analysis to young children means of course a modification of the technic used in the analysis of adults. One cannot ask a child 3 years old to lie down on a couch and say everything that passes through its mind. Instead, Mrs. Klein encourages the child to express its emotions in playing and then interprets to it the desires, impulses and fear reactions, which reveal themselves in the play in a more or less disguised form. She thus uncovers the particular fear situation with which the child could not cope and diminishes this fear, whereupon

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