Transformations of early infantile experiences: a 6-month-old in psychoanalysis.

  • Johan Norman
  • Published 2004 in The International journal of psycho-analysis


The aim of the paper is to study the theoretical and technical tools for psychoanalysis adapted to an infantile analysand's requirements. The author presents the case of a 6-month-old boy with his mother in psychoanalytical sessions four times a week; the analysis was terminated after six weeks. After the first two sessions the disturbances between the infant and the mother disappeared from everyday life but continued with increasing intensity as an emotional storm in the sessions during three weeks up to a 12-day break. During and after the break everyday life continued without disturbances. After the break the emotional storm continued in the sessions but abated and was replaced by playing. The infant's creation of a 'fort-da' game with his pacifier indicated a transformation of the mental functioning. The analysis could then be terminated. The study of the process indicates good reasons to adapt psychoanalytical concepts to the prerequisite of the infantile personality and to use the concepts of 'unconscious', 'infantile repression', 'substitute formation', 'return of the infantile repressed', 'infantile transference', 'splitting', 'xKy', 'reverie' and 'containment' as some of the theoretical tools for understanding the infantile personality in a clinical psychoanalytical setting.

Cite this paper

@article{Norman2004TransformationsOE, title={Transformations of early infantile experiences: a 6-month-old in psychoanalysis.}, author={Johan Norman}, journal={The International journal of psycho-analysis}, year={2004}, volume={85 Pt 5}, pages={1103-22} }