Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth: Preliminary Steps for the Technique of Child Analysis

At the 6th International Psychoanalytic Conference in The Hague in 1920 the Viennese psychoanalyst Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth presented her paper “On the technique of child analysis”. Her lecture discussed the many practical problems and theoretical questions she encountered while “analysing” children in the early twenties. The author reviews the main ideas of von Hug-Hellmuth in light of the work of other psychoanalysts, such as Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Donald Winnicott, Françoise Dolto. He also determines the current value of the ideas of von Hug-Hellmuth for the contemporary praxis of child analysis. Some of the technical questions are still valid, such as the ethical question regarding the position of the parents and the question of education in child-analysis. On the other hand, some of the technical principles are out of date in light of social changes. The auteur shows that the study of von Hug-Hellmuth’s paper can still inspire every child analyst.

Erik: “I can’t play with all your questions!”. Clinical reflections concerning play and creativity in the work of D.W. Winnicott as a result of a play therapy with a five year old boy.

By means of some clinical fragments from the play therapy of a five year old boy, we explore the concept of interpretation, using the visions of various authors to instruct us. We consider the determination and the passion in Klein’s interpretative work. Dolto teaches us to interpret by asking questions. Both principles guide us in our work with Erik until he says: “Leave me alone!” and expresses that our questions are obstructing his play. He doesn’t want to talk, only to play but Dolto asserts that children do not come to analysis to play but to work. Suddenly, we have lost our framework for interpretation. What should we do? Winnicott helps by pointing out that play can facilitate in-depth psychoanalytic work without interpretation. We explore this principle throughout the case study of Erik. In particular, we wish to highlight the dangers associated with interpretations inspired by a preconceived idea.

Download full text

What can educators do with psychoanalysis in their daily institutional practice within a community? On the infantile roots of the desire of the educator.

The central focus of this article is the psychoanalytically orientated day-to-day educational work in an institution. We approach this problem from the concept of desire and pose two questions. The first concerns the transference of psychoanalysis in an institution. How can analysts transfer psychoanalysis to educators, nurses or other paramedics during their daily work in an institutional set-up? The desire of the analyst is the central axis of this problem. The core of the second question relates to the desire of the educator. How can psychoanalysis help us define our subjective position as educator in a community and in an institution? First, we question the relationship between desire and psychoanalytical formation. Secondly, we describe the infantile roots of our desire as an educator starting from our own particular life story.

“I want to be a parasite in your body”. On a particular case of transference love.

In this case study of a thirty year old woman, we address the question of a particular form of transference love. Freud pointed out that the therapeutic functioning of a psychoanalytic cure relies on transference and that the development of this transference is based on our passions: love and hate. The position of abstinence adopted by the psychoanalyst creates, inevitably at times, a situation of unrequited love. The way in which the patient handles this structural impossibility of her love demands transforms her analytical adventure into a painful existential experience which allows us to question the very meaning of the (psychoanalytic) experience.