The Importance of Fathers: A Psychoanalytic Re-evaluation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Importance of Fathers

A Psychoanalytic Re-evaluation, 1st Edition

Edited by Alicia Etchegoyen, Judith Trowell


272 pages

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It is widely acknowledged that children need structure, security, stability and attachment to develop and flourish, and that the father is an important part of this.

Issues such as high divorce rates, new family structures, increased mobility, women's liberation and contraception are very common in society. This book sets out to explore what has happened to men and to fathers during all these changes and transitions. Judith Trowell and Alicia Etchegoyen, along with an array of renowned contributors, consider the importance of fathers in various situations, including:

  • the role of the father at different stage of children's development
  • the missing father
  • loss of a father
  • grandfathers.

It is argued that the father is important, not only to support the main carer (usually the mother) but also to provide a caring, thinking, comfortable, confident presence.


'The collection of papers edited by Trowell and Etchegoyen is a timely reminder of the value and importance of fathers, after psychoanalysis' long preoccupation with mothers and mothering, and is most welcome.' - Ministry Today

Table of Contents

Obholzer, Foreword. Trowell, Introduction: Setting the Scene. Etchegoyen, Psychoanalytic Ideas About Fathers. Mainly Theoretical. Target, Fonagy, The Role of the Father and Child Development: Fathers in Modern Psychoanalysis and Society. Davids, Fathers in the Internal World. Marks, Letting Fathers In. Britton, Forever Father's Daughter: The Athene-Antigone Complex. Brafman, Grandfathers. Mainly Clinical. Emanuel, On Becoming a Father - Reflections from Infant Observation. Youell, Missing Fathers - Hope and Disappointment.Barrows, Barrows, Fathers and the Transgenerational: Impact of Loss. Blundell, Fatherless Sons: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Bereaved Boys. Johns, Identification and Dis-identification in the Development of Sexual Identity. Flynn, The Adoptive Father. Yorke, Fathers and Disability. Concluding Comments. Baily, English Policy Papers and Author's Comments.

About the Editors

Judith Trowell is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Tavistock Clinic, London.

Alicia Etchegoyen is a Psychoanalyst and Child Analyst at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health