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Parent-infant-psychotherapy and psychoanalytic treatment: contradiction or mutual inspiration?

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Psychoanalysis and parent-infant-psychotherapy are compared. Although parent-infant-psychotherapy developed from psychoanalysis, it appears at first glance not to be "analytic" with its aim of dealing quickly with the symptoms presented and also with its different setting. The author shows that an analytic approach in understanding the multi-facetted net of relationships between family members and the infant in its "phantasmic interaction" and a consideration of the implication for analysis of the empirical research carried out in conjunction with parent-infant-therapy can lead to a fruitful exchange of ideas. One example of this is research into the correlation between attachment patterns and the processing of conflicts. Furthermore a dialogue between these two disciplines can remind psychoanalysts that a critical discussion of the external circumstances of their methods does not immediately call into question their fundamental approach to therapy: the work in transference on relationship fantasies.
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Keywords: attachment theory; parent-infant psychotherapy; psychoanalytic treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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