1st Edition

Psychoanalysis and Severe Disorders in Young Children Clinical and Community Work with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Child Mental Health

By Nahir Bonifacino Copyright 2025
    192 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Psychoanalysis and Severe Disorders in Young Children presents case material and resources for professionals working with young children in the clinic and in the community.

    Presented in two main parts, the book explores Nahir Bonifacino’s work with children and their parents. The first part presents clinical case material from her work with several young children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, illustrating an adaptation of child psychoanalytic technique that encourages patient communication. Part 2 considers outreach in the community, with resources for parents and professionals in frontline care roles that focus on a preventative approach to child mental health. The book closes with an appendix which translates psychoanalytic resources for use in early childhood education and care institutions.

    Psychoanalysis and Severe Disorders in Young Children will be of great interest to child psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, clinical and educational psychologists, child psychiatrists, social workers, teachers, and carers.

    Series Editor Foreword


     I. Psychoanalytic clinic. Approach to young children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.


    1.     From psychic precariousness to subjectivation. The analytical process of a young girl. Rebeca Grinberg Award by the Madrid Psychoanalytic Association. First Edition, 2017.


    2.     Psychoanalysis of young children with autism spectrum disorders. An adaptation of technique in the approach to three cases.


    3.     Clinical intervention with a 15-month-old toddler at risk of autism and her mother.


    4.     Technology and the early psyche. The impact of video technology on two young children with severe disorders.


    5.     From repetition to novelty. The analyst's play as a creative resource in encounters with a child who has a serious disorder.


    6.     The analyst and the parents of the young child with autism spectrum disorder.


    7.     The end of the psychoanalytical process of a child presenting with a serious disorder in early childhood.


    II. Psychoanalysis and community. Contributions to an interdisciplinary approach to risk detection and promotion of early emotional development.


    8.     The paediatric well-baby visit: an opportunity for infant mental health care.


    9.     Infant withdrawal: a key sign of risk in early emotional development. 


    10.  Training of the health team for a preventive approach to children's mental health.


    11.  Detection of withdrawal and promotion of early emotional development during the paediatric visit in a Public Health Centre of high psychosocial risk in Uruguay. 2nd Psychoanalysis in the Community Health Area Award by the International Psychoanalytic Association, 2019.


    Appendix: Early childhood education and care institutions as spaces for promoting early emotional development and child mental health.


    Nahir Bonifacino is a child and adolescent psychoanalyst based in Uruguay. She holds a PhD in Perinatal and Infant Psychology and Psychopathology and is a member of the Uruguayan Psychoanalytical Association and the International Psychoanalytical Association.

    “This book represents an exceptional combination of the psychoanalytic approach and interdisciplinary collaboration, comprehensively addressing the challenges posed by Autism Spectrum Disorders in childhood. The author demonstrates how psychoanalysis can illuminate both the understanding and treatment of these challenges in current clinical practice. Furthermore, this volume highlights the importance of working from a community perspective in teams with professionals from a variety of disciplines. This book not only informs, but also inspires deeper and more effective engagement in child mental health care.”

    Virginia Ungar, M.D.; Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association; Past IPA President (2017–2021) 


    “Nahir Bonifacino’s work is inspiring and brings us to a clinic alive with children suffering from serious psychic disorders, requiring an analysis with technical variations in which the analyst’s creative capacity is involved. This is a book long awaited by the psychoanalytic community.”

    Nilde Franch, training and child psychoanalyst; Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society of São Paulo; Former Chair, IPA Committee on Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis