Normality and Pathology in Childhood
Assessments of Development
The author's book deals with a most neglected aspect of psychoanalysis - normality. Its chief concern is with the ordinary problems of upbringing which face all parents and the usual phenomena encountered by every clinician. Yet, though primarily practical and clinical in its approach, it also makes a major theoretical contribution to psychology. The author begins with an account of the development of analytic child psychology, its techniques and its sources in child and adult analysis and direct observation of the child. The author then describes the course of normal development, how it can be hindered or eased, what are the unavoidable stresses and strains and how variations of normality occur. The author outlines a scheme for assessing normality and for gauging and classifying pathological phenomena in terms of the obstruction of normal progress rather than the severity of symptoms. Stress is laid on the problem of predicting the outcome of infantile factors for adult pathology in the face of the child's continual development. Finally, child analysis is considered both as a therapeutic method and as a means for the advance of knowledge.