Explorations in Autism: A Psychoanalytical Study

Author(s) : Donald Meltzer, Author(s) : John Bremner, Author(s) : Shirley Hoxter, Author(s) : Doreen Weddell, Author(s) : Isca Wittenberg

Part of The Harris Meltzer Trust series - more in this series

Explorations in Autism: A Psychoanalytical Study

Book Details

  • Publisher : Harris Meltzer Trust
  • Published : November 2018
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 272
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 94023
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912567485
  • ISBN 10 : 1912567482
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'Explorations in Autism is a turning-point in both the understanding of and the clinical approach to autism. The clinical material gradually unveils the geography of the internal mother (which proved crucial for the development of Meltzer’s ‘claustrum’ theory) and allowed him to draft, for the first time in psychoanalysis, a theory of the dimensionality of mental life.’

- CARMO DI SOUSA LIMA, Portuguese Psychoanalytical Society

‘The rigorous exploration reported in this book has shed a totally new light on the subjective experience of autistic children and hence on the primitive developmental phases of every human mind. A new metapsychological model of the psyche stems from the description here of fundamental concepts like primal depression, dismantling, adhesive identity, dimensionality as a parameter of mental functioning.’

- DIDIER HOUZEL, French Psychoanalytical Association and Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Caen

'Donald Meltzer’s brilliant "lessons" supervising my analysis of a post-autistic boy have increased my psychoanalytical instruments for investigating the transference and countertransference: how to observe emotional and behavioural facts during the session (not only verbalizations), and how to seek out my own dream images in order to carry on with the analysis.'

- MARISA PELELLA MELEGA, Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society, Sao Paulo

'These modalities observed in autistic children have a more general scope than in psychopathology and even lead us to rethink certain basic concepts in psychoanalysis. The research recorded in this book allowed Meltzer to come into contact with children who were unable to form an object containing a space to be used in their mental development. Later, using conclusions drawn from this work,

Meltzer went on to formulate the "aesthetic conflict" in a book which pairs with this one: The Apprehension of Beauty (1988).'

- VIRGINIA UNGAR, Buenos Aires Psychoanalytical Association, Chair, IPA

‘Meltzer’s understanding of sense perception and language development is inspiring. He was so far ahead of his time that we are only beginning to realise how he anticipated recent developmental research. In this book, by way of clinical work, he extended the scope of psychoanalysis to wide new fields of thought.'

- MARIA RHODE, Emeritus Professor of Child Psychotherapy, Tavistock Clinic/University of East London

About the Author(s)

Donald Meltzer (1923-2004) is widely known as a psychoanalyst and teacher throughout Europe and South America. He is the author of many works on psychoanalytic theory and practice, including The Psychoanalytical Process, Sexual States of Mind, Explorations in Autism, The Kleinian Development, Dream Life, Studies in Extended Metapsychology, and The Claustrum, all published by the Harris Meltzer Trust.

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Isca Wittenberg is a Consultant Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist for children and adults who has worked at the Tavistock Clinic for twenty-five years and was Vice-Chairman of the Tavistock for ten years. She was a Senior Tutor in the clinical training of child psychotherpists, has led Infant Observation Seminars in London for fifty years and trained analysts and psychologists in Viennna and Oslo in Infant Observation. She has lectured and run seminars in Austria, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden and run workshops in Australia and South Africa. She has held temporary professorships at Turin and Klagenfurt University. She now works primarily in private practice, doing brief and long-term psychotherapy. She has been made a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Senior Staff of the Tavistock Clinic where she still does some teaching as well as facilitating eperiential groups. She has published many articles in professional journals, contributed chapters to a number of psychoanalytic books (including two on autism) and written two books: Psycho-Analytic Insight and Relationships: A Kleinian Approach (translated into nine languages) and The Emotional Experience of Learning and Teaching - the latter including contributions by Gianna Williams and Elsie Osborne, and which has been translated into eight languages.

More titles by Isca Wittenberg

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