Young Children and their Parents: Perspectives from Psychoanalytic Infant Observation

Author(s) : Gertraud Diem-Wille

Young Children and their Parents: Perspectives from Psychoanalytic Infant Observation

Book Details

Reviews and Endorsements

‘This book will be of great interest to a wide readership. The author’s objective has been to provide an overview of child development from a variety of perspectives. These include psychoanalytic theory (Freudian, contemporary Freudian, Kleinian, post-Kleinian, and Winnicottian), attachment theory, and recent work in development psychology and the neurosciences. Parents will find in this book much compassionate wisdom, in which insight never becomes dogmatic or self-righteous. They will also find a clear and accessible exposition of theory that is never presented in a patronising way. However, the book also has much to offer sophisticated professionals, not least its well-integrated synthesis of different theoretical strands in addition to the original research findings.’
—Maria Rhode, Emeritus Professor of Child Psychotherapy, the Tavistock Clinic, and University of East London

‘On the basis of many examples of the interaction between children and parents, the author demonstrates how the nature of the early relationship lays the foundation of the unique character of each individual’s experience of the world and him- or herself. Gertraud Diem-Wille’s approach to her subject is a novel and interesting one: starting with observations of three very different four year olds, she goes back to their births and to detailed observations of them in years one, two, and three to discover how they have come to develop into the personalities they are now. It is a book that will be of great value to parents, teachers, paediatricians, and all those concerned with furthering the understanding of children.’
—Isca Salzberger-Wittenberg, Consultant Psychotherapist, the Tavistock Clinic

‘This book provides a vivid account of the development of young children within their relationships with their parents. Gertraud Diem-Wille has an extensive knowledge and understanding of
psychoanalytic theory, attachment theory, and recent child development research. She is able to bring these different, but complementary, approaches together and show the reader how they can be used to illuminate observations of ordinary, everyday interactions as well as encounters in the clinical consulting room. This accessible book will be of interest to students, practitioners, and researchers in all these fields of study, as well as to any individual interested in the lived experience of parents and children.’
—Biddy Youell, Head of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

‘Closely observed interactions are at the heart of the matter in this book. The descriptions of the interactions and the actual behaviour of children in their surroundings bring alive the uniqueness of each person and the broad range of what is “normal”. This is a highly accessible book that will enjoy broad appeal to seasoned psychoanalysts as well as to students or parents. It is also an excellent book for an American audience, where the Tavistock method of infant observation is only beginning to become more widely known and integrated into training programmes. Gertraud Diem-Wille has made a rich contribution to the field.’
—Deborah Blessing, Core Faculty, Infant and Young Child Observation Training Program, Washington School of Psychiatry

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