From Fetus to Child: An Observational and Psychoanalytic Study (Anglais) Broché – 2 avril 1992
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The use of ultrasonic scans in pregnancy makes it possible to observe the fetus undisturbed in the womb. Dr Alessandra Piontelli has done what no one has done before: she observed eleven fetuses (three singletons and four sets of twins) in the womb using ultrasound scans, and then observed their development at home from birth up to the age of four years. She includes a description of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy of one of the research children, and the psychoanalysis of five other very young children whose behaviour in analysis suggested that they were deeply preoccupied with their experience in the womb.
Dr Piontelli has discovered what many parents have always thought - that each fetus, like each newborn baby, is a highly individual creature. By drawing on her experience as a child psychotherapist and psychoanalyst as well as on her observational research, she is able to investigate issues relating to individuality, psychological birth and the influence of maternal emotions during pregnancy. Her findings demonstrate clearly how psychoanalytical evidence enhances, deepens and supports observational data on the remarkable behavioural and psychological continuities between pre-natal and post-natal life.
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My aim in this chapter is to provide some basic information for those psychoanalysts and lay readers who are interested in these areas of research but have little time for deepening them. Lire la première page
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Though she is a highly educated researcher and practicing analyst and psychotherapist, Dr. Piontelli writes in a style almost as easy to follow as a newspaper human interest story, with few technical words to stumble over.
One could not stumble past her eye-witness accounts of fetus after fetus, which became single or twin births and demonstrated with no doubt remaining how the earliest developmental stage studied was mirrored by the behavior of newborn, toddler, and up to the four-year-old, her age limit to study.
Nature vs nurture is studied in action. And some of each appears to contribute to the behavior of the children as they grow.
Expectant parents, health care workers, midwives... Here's a book I'd highly recommend.
I think her work makes a major contribution to our understanding on fetal life and early childhood and psychological patterns of behaviour developed then that may continue well beyond infancy into childhood and even affect their adult life. If these problems and behaviour patterns were to be understood early on, they could be mitigated or some even stopped, making for a happier experience for children and parents alike. Ground breaking work!
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