Academic journal article The Psychoanalytical Study of the Child

Weaving Child Psychoanalysis: Past, Present, and Future

Academic journal article The Psychoanalytical Study of the Child

Weaving Child Psychoanalysis: Past, Present, and Future

Article excerpt

Using the metaphor of a fabric woven from many threads, this paper describes nine of the many conceptual strands that have contributed to the development of child psychoanalysis over its first century. It notes the unfortunate isolation (sometimes self-imposed) of child analysis from related fields (including adult analysis) and argues that we must recognize both the strengths and weaknesses of our psychoanalytic tools if we are to collaborate with and profit from the work of nonanalytic colleagues. It closes with the suggestion that the continued weaving of child analysis will require the creation of new looms, structures that are able to support a new generation of child analysts and the continued elaboration of the field.


I WAS TRULY DELIGHTED -AND HONORED -BY THE INVITATION TO deliver this thirty-first annual Marianne Kris Lecture.

Marianne Rie was the youngest child of Oskar Rie, one of Sigmund Freud's closest friends in Vienna. Early in their professional careers Rie and Freud had coauthored a monograph on cerebral palsy in children (Freud and Rie 1891); Freud also entrusted his six children to Rie as their pediatrician. What is more, every Saturday evening Oskar, his brother Alfred, and their brother-in-law Ludwig Rosenberg (the father of future child analyst Anny Katan) gathered to play cards with Sigmund. In this tightly knit circle Marianne was first a five-year-younger playmate of Anna Freud, then a student in the Kinderseminar, organized by Miss Freud, Siegfried Bernfeld, Willi Hoffer, and August Aichhorn (Cohler 2008); then a fellow refugee in London; and finally a fellow editor and colleague, friend, and confidante of Miss Freud.

Marianne Rie married Ernst Kris in 1927; the two of them were active in the growth of psychoanalysis in Vienna until 1938, when they escaped to London with their children Anna and Anton. In 1940 the family moved again, this time to New York, where Marianne resided until her death.

Marianne Kris had a substantial impact on the development of child psychoanalysis in both America and England. In America she encouraged a new generation of analysts to enter the field; what's more, she included within her students and supervisees many "lay" analysts. At the same time she solicited financial support for the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic, Miss Freud's training program for child analysts. Following the death of her husband Ernst, who was one of the founding editors of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Marianne served as a senior editor of this journal for nearly a quarter century, from volume 13 (1958) through volume 36 (1981).

Despite her activity as an editor, Marianne Kris published only four psychoanalytic papers (Kris 1932; 1944; 1957; Kris and Ritvo 1983). Two of these papers focused on the impact of siblings and parents upon intrapsychic development. However, her psychoanalytic generativity extended beyond the printed word: Both of the Kris children became psychoanalysts, and Anna Kris Wolff, like her mother, became a child analyst.

In 1950 Marianne Kris was a participant in the First Stockbridge Congress on Child Analysis and, in the years that followed, was one of the leaders of a group within the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) that advocated for the inclusion of lay (nonmedical) child psychoanalysts within APsaA. When this effort failed, Kris-with the support of Anna Freud-proposed the creation of a professional home for child analysts, the American Association for Child Psychoanalysis-now the ACP. Marianne Kris was elected the first president of the organization and presided over its first annual meeting in Topeka in 1966.

Marianne Kris was involved with the development of child analysis at the personal, professional, and organizational levels from her birth in 1900 until her death in 1980 while visiting Anna Freud in London. The ACP inaugurated the Kris Lecture in 1982 to honor her memory.

The theme of this year's meeting of the Association for Child Psychoanalysis is "The Analytic Path to Progressive Development. …

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