chapter  1
9 Pages

The Representational World of the Young Child: The Role of the Four Psychologies

In order to set the stage for later discussion of the child’s response and adaptation to trauma and abuse experiences, it is helpful to begin with a brief consideration and discussion of how the young child operates in the worldhow he or she contends with instinctual tensions, represents aspects of self and others-as well as to consider how adaptive efforts reveal the predominant cognitive-behavioral structures involved in channeling, regulating, and controlling affect and impulse. Viewed in this way, it is possible to construct a multidimensional intrapsychic composite of sorts, one that articulates how inner and outer interact, intersect, coalesce, and combine to define a portrait that captures the essence of the child, acknowledging the contribution of the four psychologies outlined by Pine (1988,1990) and also incorporating a developmental structuralist approach (Greenspan, 1981) in the evaluation and consideration of the child’s organizational levels of development in relation to discrete categories of behavior, mood, object relations capacity, affects and anxiety, use of the environment, and thematic (particularly conflict themes) and subjective reactions of the interviewer.