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Growing up with risk$
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Betsy Thom, Rosemary Sales, and Jenny Pearce

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347329

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347329.001.0001

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Mothering, deprivation and the formation of child psychoanalysis in Britain

Mothering, deprivation and the formation of child psychoanalysis in Britain

(p.17) two Mothering, deprivation and the formation of child psychoanalysis in Britain
Growing up with risk

Julia Borossa

Policy Press

This chapter recounts how, in Britain, the analysis of children emerged from the years of the Second World War as an acceptable, even high-profile, professional activity, marking and defining British psychoanalysis generally. Of great significance is the way in which psychoanalytic discourse highlighted the mothering relationship, providing a point of contact with other contemporary discourses on childhood. It is shown that the view of childhood as a condition demanding special consideration constitutes something problematic for psychoanalysis, and the term risk itself does not figure easily, if at all, in the discourse of the profession. Indeed, contemporary notions of child protection and the ‘care and protection’ of the young and vulnerable are at odds with a psychoanalytic conception of childhood. But through a consideration of the work of the paediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, a key figure in post-war British psychoanalysis, a context is found for an understanding of what a childhood at risk might mean in psychoanalytic terms.

Keywords:   children, childhood, psychoanalysis, mothering, Donald Winnocott

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