Academic journal article The Psychoanalytical Study of the Child

Editor’s Introduction to Our New Publisher

Academic journal article The Psychoanalytical Study of the Child

Editor’s Introduction to Our New Publisher

Article excerpt

In 1945, as World War II drew to its close, a band of psychoanalytic pioneers ambitiously proposed the creation of a new professional journal. They hoped to gather together the accumulating knowledge about child development into newly proposed psychoanalytic perspectives. The aim was to integrate it all within the domains of theory, clinical practice, and the daily lives of children.

Anna Freud and her colleagues had spent the previous two decades cultivating a new psychoanalytic garden built upon the observation of children in both their natural environments and clinical settings. Their monthly reports to the Foster Parents' Plan for War Children demonstrated how it was possible to fruitfully combine data gleaned from the daily lives of children with those from analytic work. This multipronged approach led to fruitful insights regarding the emerging developmental lines that guide both normality and pathology.

From her base in London, Miss Freud recruited Heinz Hartmann and Ernst Kris, two Viennese colleagues who had relocated to New York, as co-editors of a groundbreaking Anglo-American journal, The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child (PSC). They hoped the PSC would provide an ongoing venue for the presentation and critical comparison of emerging data drawn from many sources. These data, examined via a variety of models, might ultimately foster a more complex, nuanced, and integrated appreciation of "the child." Throughout its history, the pages of the PSC have documented an increasing sensitivity to the fact that children are more than a tabula rasa or a mixture of drives. Now, entering its eighth decade, the journal remains a venue for a very particular approach to children, one that gives special attention to their inner psychic lives and what shapes the way they emerge. …

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