Advertisement

Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 56–66 | Cite as

Social Work and Child Psychoanalysis: Where the Twain Shall Meet

  • Erika S. Schmidt
Original Paper

Abstract

This essay explores the ways in which social work theory can contribute to the theory and practice of child psychoanalysis. Both clinical social work and child psychoanalysis borrow from psychoanalytic theory for explanations of motivation, development, and technique. The fundamental premises of social work theory, including a psychosocial perspective, the centrality of relationship as a medium of change, a commitment to social justice, and the importance of “starting where the person is,” inform the therapist’s stance and open the therapeutic space to include a wide range of ways of using the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic experience. Integrating these principles into clinical practice theory offers a way to understand this range of ways of using therapeutic experience. Highlights of some of the practice literature are surveyed. Two case examples illustrate the value of social work theory in understanding therapeutic process.

Keywords

Child psychoanalysis and social work Practice theory Development Child psychotherapy 

Notes

Acknowledgement

Thanks to Michelle Sweet, Ph.D., for sharing this clinical material and for her creative clinical work with Ellen.

References

  1. Aichhorn, A. (1965). Wayward youth. New York: Viking Press. (Original work published 1935).Google Scholar
  2. Anthony, E. J. (1980). The family and the psychoanalytic process in children. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 35, 3–34.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Anthony, E. J. (1986). The contributions of child psychoanalysis to psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 41, 61–87.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (Eds.). (1999). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  5. Chethik, M. (1989). Techniques of child therapy: Psychodynamic strategies. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Edgcumbe, R. (2000). Anna Freud: A view of development, disturbance and therapeutic techniques. Philadelphia: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Eissler, K. R. (1953). The effect of the structure of the ego on psychoanalytic technique. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 1, 104–143.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elson, M. (1986). Self psychology in clinical social work. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  9. Fonagy, P. (2001). Attachment theory and psychoanalysis. New York: Other Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fraiberg, S. (1978). Psychoanalysis and social work: A reexamination of the issues. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 78, 87–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fraiberg, S. (1987). Psychoanalysis and the education of caseworkers. In L. Fraiberg (Ed.), Selected writings of Selma Fraiberg (pp. 412–438). Columbus: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Freud, A. (1965). Normality and pathology in childhood: Assessments of development (The writings of Anna Freud: Vol. 6). New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  13. Freud, A., & Burlingham, D. (1973). Infants without families: Reports on the Hampstead Nurseries, 1939–1945 (The writings of Anna Freud: Vol. 3). New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  14. Goldberg, C. (1995). The analytic template: Help or hindrance in the conduct of psychotherapy? Clinical Social Work Journal, 23, 87–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Heineman, T. V., & Ehrensaft, D. (Eds.). (2006a). Building a home within: Meeting the emotional needs of children and youth in foster care. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  16. Heineman, T. V., & Ehrensaft, D. (2006b). Epilogue. In T. V. Heineman, & D. Ehrensaft (Eds.), Building a home within: Meeting the emotional needs of children and youth in foster care (pp. 237–240). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  17. Hollis, F. (1972). Casework: A psychosocial therapy. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  18. Kanter, J. (Ed.). (2004). Face to face with children: The life and work of Clare Winnicott. London: Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  19. Kohut, H. (1977). The restoration of the self. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mishne, J. M. (1993). The evolution and application of clinical theory: Perspective from four psychologies. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  21. Novick, K. K., & Novick, J. (2005). Working with parents makes therapy work. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  22. Rosenbaum, A. L. (1994). The assessment of parental functioning: A critical process in the evaluation of children for psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63, 466–490.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Saari, C. (1986). Clinical social work treatment: How does it work? New York: Gardner Press.Google Scholar
  24. Stern, D. N. (1995). The motherhood constellation: A unified view of parent–infant psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  25. Stone, L. (1961). The psychoanalytic situation: An examination of its development and essential nature. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  26. Twemlow, S. W., & Parens, H. (2006). Might Freud’s legacy lie beyond the couch? Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23, 430–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Weiss, S. (1964). Parameters in child analysis. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 12, 587–599.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Weiss, S. (1981). Reflections on the psychoanalytic process, with special emphasis on child analysis and self-analysis. Annual of Psychoanalysis, 9, 43–56.Google Scholar
  29. Weiss, S. (1995). On the resistance to child analysis: Problems of the parent and the analyst. Annual of Psychoanalysis, 23, 79–91.Google Scholar
  30. Winnicott, D. W. (1960). The theory of the parent–infant relationship. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 41, 585–595.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Zaretsky, E. (2004). Secrets of the soul: A social and cultural history of psychoanalysis. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations