Inge Pretorius shares her experience on The Psychoanalytic Perspectives of Child Development

15th February 2016 By: irina.nedelcu@annafreud.org

Inge Pretorius kindly agreed to share a few thoughts about her experience on the Psychoanalytic Perspectives of Child Development course and her work with postgraduates as part of the parent-toddler groups and toddler observation modules. 

The Psychoanalytic Perspectives of Child Development course was expanded in 2012 to 3 modules (30 lectures).  The course still focuses on Child Development from Infancy through to adolescence, but is now punctuated by a presentation of psychoanalytic psychotherapy with children for each developmental stage, infancy, toddlerhood, Oedipal phallic phase, latency and adolescence.  Thus having studied the psychoanalytic theory of a particular developmental stage, students can gain some insight in the psychoanalytic therapy for that particular stage, as practiced at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. 

The parent-toddler groups and toddler observation modules continue to offer students a stimulating learning experience and valued clinical experience for the group assistants (who are often MSc PDP graduates).  The historic legacy of the toddler hut will soon be lost with the planned sale of the Maresfield Gardens properties of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.  Anna Freud’s brother Ernst, designed and built the hut to enable groups of blind children to meet and play together, under the leadership of Dorothy Burlingham.  Groups of children have been playing in the toddler hut for well over 50 years.

I have enjoyed meeting up with alumni when travelling to present at conferences.  I met some alumni in Berlin in January and in Ravenna in September.  I am looking forward to a reunion with the Peruvian alumni when I visit Lima in April 2016.

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