By Alessandra Piontelli

This compact vintage describes Alessandra Piontelli's event of staring at infants over numerous years. those young ones got here from various social, monetary and familial backgrounds yet a couple of attention-grabbing similarities arose to lead them to a good selection for comparability out of the various infants saw by means of Dr Piontelli all through her occupation. This e-book is needed examining for all scholars and pros serious about the real box of youngster statement.

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Extra resources for Backwards in Time: A Study in Infant Observation by the Method of Esther Bick

Sample text

Later still when exploring the house, he was particularly attracted by drawers, bu teach ti me he pulled one ou t (or tried to), he also managed to crush his fingers violently, but again he showed no reaction, not even of surprise, as if 'being crushed' was all that could 'naturally' be expected from exploration beyond one's own closed boundaries. Everyone in the family "knew" he would crush his fingers, but the usual reaction was laughter and mockery; no one taught him to recognise, to become familiar with such pitfalls and therefore be more able to avoid them.

It was certainly not his bodily hygiene that was being neglected. After each feed he looked tired and strained, never satisfied or con ten ted - these were emotions tha t he did not seem to know. When someone picked him up or talked to him or smiled at him, his muscular tension and his efforts not to be caught off guard were such that in the end he looked exhausted. When left alone he never seemed peaceful or relaxed, busy as he always was with his private rituals to arouse sensations within his own body, such as shaking his head or sucking his tongue.

Physical movement still helped him to get away from people while at the same time building up a muscular protection and isolation for his inner self. During many of my later observations he was almost always on the move. As years went by his withdrawal more and more took on the quality of superior detachment. When not blank his expression would now be indifferent and aloof, or sly and oblique with an imperceptible smile on his lips. It was much the same kind of smile that I had seen before on the maid's face, or his father's when early on Mr T seemed to believe that his secret and perverse world was so superior to that of poor people who did not know, such as Martin or myself.

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