Young Child Observation: A Development in the Theory and Method of Infant Observation

Editor : Simonetta M.G. Adamo, Editor : Margaret Rustin

Part of The Tavistock Clinic Series - more in this series

Young Child Observation: A Development in the Theory and Method of Infant Observation

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : September 2013
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 384
  • Category :
    Child and Adolescent Studies
  • Catalogue No : 34538
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782200604
  • ISBN 10 : 1782200606

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Observing young children at play is an everyday and often fascinating and pleasurable experience for many of us. It also has a great pedigree in the development of psychoanalysis from Freud’s observation of his grandson’s game with the cotton-reel onwards.

This book describes the practice of observing young children in home and nursery settings in a systematic and non-intrusive way in order to expand our understanding of their emotional, cognitive, and social development. It uses a psychoanalytic lens to enrich the meaning of what is seen. How do minds and personalities take shape? How can we train people to see what is most relevant in helping children to develop?

The chapters range from classic papers by famous practitioners of an older generation to observations completed in recent years in the UK, Europe, and the US. Observation of this sort has also spread to Latin America, India, Australia, Africa, and the Far East. The differences and continuities with Infant Observation are the starting point. What happens when a child starts nursery? How active a playmate should an observer be? How do we balance the close attention given to the observed child with the wider group of children in a nursery? How do we make sense of the marked cultural differences we see between families, nurseries, and indeed national cultures? How can we use observation as a baseline for early intervention and how can we research what we are doing?

The book is written for the many students and professionals concerned with the care and education of under fives, and for parents, grandparents, and all who are interested in the mind of the young child. The meeting of inner and outer worlds, which characterizes life in these crucial years, is vividly depicted. Readers will delight in the children’s capacity for imaginative thought and also find themselves pondering what makes a nursery a good-enough place for staff and children.

About the Editor(s)

Simonetta M. G. Adamo, former Full Professor of Clinical Psychology at Milan’s University “Bicocca”, is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists. She co-organizes the Tavistock Short Course “Working with Troubled Adolescents”, is the Organising Tutor of the Naples Observation Course, and teaches at the Centro Studi Martha Harris, Florence. She has edited the books: Un breve viaggio nella propria mente. Counselling psicoanalitico con adolescent (1990); Il compagno immaginario. Studi psicoanalitici (2006); and La cura della relazione in oncologia pediatrica (2008). She has co-planned experimental projects in schools and works in Naples in private practice.

Margaret Rustin is a consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, London, and an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She has pioneered and supported the extension of training in psychoanalytic observational approaches to training across the United Kingdom and in a number of other countries.

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