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Françoise Dolto and Extramural Psychoanalysis: Two Practical Examples

This contribution sheds light on Françoise Dolto as an inspiring pioneer of preventive work with children. A question that informs our discussion is the extent to which “extramural psychoanalysis” can, or should, be creative. Two projects illustrate the inventiveness and the power of psychoanalysis beyond the boundaries of the classical cure. The first project, “Les Enfants du Jeudi”, in which choreographers work with autistic children, reveals how the “unspeakable” can manifest itself through music and dance. Our second project, “Villa Ou-ki”, demonstrates how parents and children can be held within, or evacuated out of, their symptom by applying short-term psychoanalytic interventions with the focus on the relational aspect in the context of childcare. We present these two projects referring to the four key theoretical aspects of Dolto, namely, the relational, the unconscious body-image, the play of desire, and respect with regards to the subject aspects. The ideas of Jean Laplanche are used as supplementary theoretical tools.

Klein Revisited: A Re-evaluation of Klein’s Meaning for Psychoanalysis

This contribution re-evaluates the theoretical foundations of Kleinian psychoanalysis. Both the resistance to her work outside England and the relevance it has for working with children and psychotic patients are considered. Klein stresses the crucial importance of constitutional elements in psychic development and consequently focuses on internal dispositions and fantasies. The concepts of death-drive, continuity between normality and pathology, projective identification, and unconscious fantasy are explained and illustrated with clinical material. Finally their consequences for our diagnostic and therapeutic thinking are considered.

Marie Bonaparte: Freud’s Princess and Ambassador

In this contribution, Hanna Stouten, author of the first Dutch Bonaparte biography, sketches the problematic life of Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962). Freud played a key role in Bonaparte’s life, first as his patient and later as a psychoanalyst herself. He was a father-figure for her, bestowing self-confidence and also a profession, his profession. The activities which Marie developed in psychoanalysis start with her own analysis. The first 43 years display an overarching need for someone like Freud. The time with him was a rich period of expansion for her and was followed by post-Freudian years. In French and international psychoanalysis the princess acquired a reputation as one of the great Freud translators, as a networker and benefactor, and as rescuer of the Fliess letters. Her conflict with Jacques Lacan left a scar.

“My Name was Sabina Spielrein”: Freud’s Russian Daughter and the Echoes of her Fascinating Oeuvre

This contribution is dedicated to the Russian psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein (1885-1942). Following a short sketch of the historical context, we focus on Spielrein’s oeuvre, with specific reference to the implicit and the explicit impact of both Spielrein and her earliest work on the thinking of Jung and Freud. We concentrate not only on the theme of (counter)transference and on the concept of the death instinct, but also on some typically Jungian core concepts, such as the “collective unconscious”, the “archetypes”, the “anima”, and the “shadow”. In addition, we also briefly discuss Spielrein’s pioneering work in child analysis, including the role of child play, infant observation, and developmental psychology. In this way, we hope to illustrate the concrete impact of Spielrein’s oeuvre on the work of Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, and Donald Winnicott.

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.