The “clinically reconstructed” infant in the development of psychoanalytic theory
Theories always come into play. What is important, however, is to be as conscious of them as possible, and to be able to question and critically analyze them. They are intended to focus the attention of the observer regarding the meaning of certain experiences. Theory, derived from the Greek “theorein,” literally means “observe.” But, as long as a theory remains in operation as unreflectively self-evident, that is, unconscious, there exists the danger that meanings can be bent to fit or constricted, even falsified, in order to correspond to the theory. In any case, the clinically constructed inner child inevitably takes on characteristics of the various theories and reconstructions of Fordham, Winnicott, Klein, Mahler, Erikson, Bowlby, Spitz, Kohut, and so on.