Books on Autism & Psychoanalysis

See also:    Psychoanalysis   


Alvarez, Anne
Anne Alverez integrates modern psychoanalytic theory with new findings in infant development and infant psychiatry to shed new light on ways of understanding autistic, psychotic and severely disturbed children and adolescents.

Bettelheim, Bruno

Hedges, Lawrence

Kristeva, Julia
To the renowned psychoanalyst, philosopher, and linguist Julia Kristeva, Melanie Klein (1882­1960) was the most original innovator, male or female, in the psychoanalytic arena. Klein pioneered psychoanalytic practice with children and made major contributions to our understanding of both psychosis and autism. Along the way, she successfully introduced a new approach to the theory of the unconscious without abandoning the principles set forth by Freud. In her first biography of a fellow psychoanalyst, the prolific Kristeva considers Klein´s life and intellectual development, weaving a narrative that covers the history of psychoanalysis and illuminates Kristeva´s own life and work. Kristeva tells the remarkable story of Klein´s life: an unhappy wife and mother who underwent analysis, and -without a medical or other advanced degree -became an analyst herself at the age of 40. In examining her work, Kristeva proposes that Klein´s 'break' with Freud was really an attempt to complete his theory of the unconscious. Kristeva addresses Klein´s numerous critics, and, in doing so, bridges the wide gulf between the clinical and theoretical worlds of psychoanalysis. Klein is celebrated here as the first person to see the mother as the source of not only creativity, but of thought itself, and the first to consider the place of matricide in psychic development. As such, Klein is a seminal figure in the evolution of the provocative ideas about motherhood and the psyche for which Kristeva is most famous. Klein is thus, in a sense, a mother to Kristeva, making this book an account of the development of Kristeva´s own thought as well as Klein´s.

Lubbe, Trevor
The Borderline Psychotic Child reviews the history and evolution of the borderline diagnosis for children, both in the USA and the UK, bringing the reader up to date with current clinical opinion on the subject. Using a range of clinical case studies, the book attempts to harmonize US and UK views on borderline diagnosis in the light of new developments in theory at The Menninger Clinic, The Anna Freud Centre and The Tavistock Clinic. Providing an introduction to the borderline concept, and a systematic overview of current theoretical thinking and clinical practices from leading practitioners in the field, The Borderline Psychotic Child will make informative reading both for professionals and students in the field of child analysis.

Meltzer, Donald
Explorations in Autism was a turning point in both the understanding of and the clinical approach to autism. The clinical material gradually unveils the geography of the internal mother (which proved crucial for the development of Meltzer's claustrum theory) and allowed him to draft, for the first time in psychoanalysis, a theory of the dimensionality of mental life. The book is a moving journey through the dynamics of the transference-countertransference, revealing what Meltzer calls the essentials of humanity. It should be part of the training of every analyst.

Mitrani, Theodore; Mitrani, Judith L.
This text presents the work of 21 eminent psychoanalysts and child therapists from three continents who explore and expand upon the work of the late Frances Tustin, which was devoted to the psychoanalytic understanding of the bewildering world of the autistic child.

Ribas, Denys
Both fascinating and disturbing, childhood autism has been the subject of impassioned debates that often end in impasse. Based on Hans Asperger's work, more extensive than is often thought and the precursor of institutional care -- and above all on testimonies given by former autists and on the analytic psychotherapy of a child. Denys Ribas reviews our understanding of this enigmatic disorder. Examining all the theories under discussion today, developments in genetics and the conditions of access to symbolisation, the author, in a constant engagement with clinical practice, instigates a constructive debate between the traditionally conflicting viewpoints of psychoanalysis and the cognitive sciences. Written in a clear style, with a glossary and explanations of the concepts, this book will be relevant not only to students, professionals and parents who are dealing with autistic children's psychic difficulties and the challenge of treating these, but also everyone with an interest in the issues surrounding the emergence of thought and language. Denys Ribas is a child psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society, and Director of the children's outpatient clinic at Entraide Universitaire (Paris XII), the author of a previous book on childhood autism (1997) and a book on Winnicott (2003), both published by Presses Universitaires de France.

Rustin, Margaret
In spite of a sometimes exasperating measure of perversion and destructive willfulness, a clear plea for help is communicated in the behavior of severely troubled children. This book describes significant new developments in the understanding and psychotherapeutic treatment of children suffering from psychotic levels of disturbance. Each chapter contains a clinical description of a child emerging from a psychotic state, and a glossary of terms used appears at the end of the book.

Spensley, Sheila
The first discussion of the clinical work of Frances Tustin, this book considers her place in the tradition of psychoanalytic theory and thinking and the relevance and application of her work in other areas, such as learning disability. A clear picture of Tustin's position emerges for the reader as author Sheila Spensley elucidates key terms and concepts, showing how they link with much of Bion's work and with more recent contributions by Grotstein and Ogden. Spensley draws on her breadth of experience in psychotherapy with both children and adults to add her own insights to the seminal findings of Frances Tustin. Examining autism from an evolutionary and biological point of view, she considers the possibility of autism as a "missing link" in the developmental chain of psychic growth and points to findings in autism which offer suppporting evidence for autistic "black holes" in adults.

Spensley, Sheila
The first discussion of the clinical work of Frances Tustin, this book considers her place in the tradition of psychoanalytic theory and thinking and the relevance and application of her work in other areas, such as learning disability. A clear picture of Tustin's position emerges for the reader as author Sheila Spensley elucidates key terms and concepts, showing how they link with much of Bion's work and with more recent contributions by Grotstein and Ogden. Spensley draws on her breadth of experience in psychotherapy with both children and adults to add her own insights to the seminal findings of Frances Tustin. Examining autism from an evolutionary and biological point of view, she considers the possibility of autism as a 'missing link' in the developmental chain of psychic growth and points to findings in autism which offer suppporting evidence for autistic 'black holes' in adults.

Tustin, Frances

Tustin, Francis
This revised edition of Tustin's classic text of the same name encorporates the author's new thinking about autism based on recent infant` observational studies and her own clinical experience.

Tustin, Francis
Autism and Childhood Psychosis is Frances Tustin's first book and the original statement of her views on autistic states of mind and the genesis of varieties of childhood psychosis. In it, she tackles problems of diagnosis as there relate to therapeutic internvention. Looking back at this early work from the vantage-point of twenty years and three more publications, it is fascinating to read the promotional statement on the original book jacket which aptly portrays the approach that has become the hallmark of Tustin's writing.

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