1st Edition

Field Theory in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis Understanding and Reacting to Unexpected Developments

By Elena Molinari Copyright 2017
    172 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Field Theory in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis looks at the intersection of two types of psychoanalysis that challenge the classic model; child analysis, and field theory.

    Children impose a faster pace on the analysis and a much less stable structure than adults, whilst psychoanalytic field theory looks at the patient-analyst relationship in a much wider context than is typical. By combining these two approaches, this book advocates the use of a set of tools and techniques that allow the psychoanalyst to understand and react much faster than normal, and to be better prepared for unexpected developments. This book shows the reader how to navigate smoothly and steadily through passages of tense analytical situations, which might otherwise feel like being trapped in a maze with no obvious way out. 

    Bion's writings allowed the improvement of new techniques or instruments for exploring the psychoanalytical process. Discussion about technique is a hugely important and necessary step for improving the evidence base of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This book also seeks to improve the research in therapeutic effectiveness and unexpected relations between body and mind, emotions and dreams. By doing so, Elena Molinari contributes to expanding the perspectives that child and adolescent psychoanalysts have had in exploring primitive functioning of the mind. 

    With specific emphasis on working with difficult situations and patients, Field Theory in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis is a highly practical book that will appeal greatly to child psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, as well as psychologists, paediatricians and advanced students studying across these fields.

    1 From One Room to the Other

    2 Luigi and the Cinématographe, the First Motion-picture Camera

    3 An Analyst Learns to Play

    4 A "Quantum" Of Truth in a Field of Lies

    5 The Anteroom

    6 The Use of Child Drawings to Explore the Dual↔Group Analytic
    Field in Child Analysis

    7 Sunday Cartoons and Very Young Patients

    8 Action Across Emptiness


    Elena Molinari is a psychoanalyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society and an IPA member. She began her professional life working as a paediatrician. Starting in 2000, she has worked as a private analyst with adults and children. Since 2004, she has been teaching ‘Child Neuropsychiatry’ for the Postgraduate course in Art Therapy at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan. Since 2013, she has been a Section Editor of the SPI journal Rivista di Psicoanalisi.

    "Beautifully written, Elena Molinari's book captures the particular features of child analysis as well as their potential transformative role in the analytic work with adults. Her deep aesthetic sensibility, born from a rich ongoing practice of child analysis, yields an original and innovative focus on the figurative aspects of emotions and thoughts in general – as well as of the analytic process itself. In a language which is both poetic and clear, accompanied by detailed clinical illustrations, the various chapters enlighten crucial notions such as ‘containment patterns’ versus ‘transformation patterns’, areas of lies versus areas of "let's pretend", turning Molinari's book not only into an important textbook for child analysis – but also into a true transitional space for creativity and thought‫.‬"-Dana Amir, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Supervising and Training Analyst
, The Israel Psychoanalytic Society; Head of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, Dept. of Counseling and Human Development, University of Haifa.

    "This is a brilliant book, exciting and very accessible: a good combination of education, emotional support, and psychoanalytic thinking. Elena Molinari with her expertise in childhood, shares her complex views on the link between analysis with young children and psychoanalysis with adults. Exploring the spirit of analytic work, she shows with beautiful clinical examples how the creative and transformative process of analysis is an art."-Christine Anzieu-Premmereur, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center’s Parent-Infant Program; member at the Société Psychanalytique de Paris and of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.

    "This fine collection of Elena Molinari's work attests to the immense creativity and innovation she brings to the consulting room. 
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Elena Molinari's approach is that she allows herself to be inspired by what we might call environmental reveries through which her own highly creative thought processes capture and transform real-life events into images and dream fragments, providing her with keys to understanding, organizing or working through her patients' mental suffering or blocks. As an analyst in the session, she succeeds in being a presence that is, at one and the same time, highly active and felt yet never intrusive and always respectful of the other's thoughts and indeed otherness. 
This hugely inspiring book also attests to her great ability to tune into children’s and adolescents' language, emotions and interests. Ever in step with the times, she fosters a feeling of being on the same wavelength as her young patients, which allows the development of fantasies and the creation of worlds inhabited by both analyst and patient in equal measure. Field Theory in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis will be a rewarding experience for all who read it. I couldn't be more enthusiastic about this book."-Antonino Ferro, Training Analyst, Italian Psychoanalytic Society, IPA and APsaA member.  

    "Following Elena Molinari's capability to experience, decipher and encourage the 'languages of achievement' of both, child and adolescent patients, is fascinating and enriching. Her vast knowledge of art and literature and the way she connects all the different fields makes this book deeply inspirational and pleasant reading. Not only is this fabulous book fundamental for analysts who work with children and adolescents, but also for those that want to understand the basic psychodynamics within their (adult) patients."-Angela Mauss-Hanke, Editor of "Internationale Psychoanalyse" and Training Analyst, Wolfratshausen and Munich.