chapter  10
Pre-verbal language in the treatment of a mother and infant: A clinical exploration
ByANNIE REINER
Pages 20

Increasing knowledge about early emotional life and the nature of primitive mental states has generated more interest in direct psychoanalytic work with infants and babies as a mode of clinical intervention. After a brief review of some of the literature on early emotional life and on the development of language, I will present detailed clinical material of a mother and baby ± ``Mrs. G'' and ``Ellie'' ± whom I saw together in treatment for ten months. I will examine the communication between them and the effects of verbal interpretations of emotional states on each of them. I will also present a few prenatal observations about Mrs. G's ``interaction'' with her fetus, observations which, despite their basis in psychoanalytic thought, must be seen to remain in the intuitive realm of what Bion called ``rational conjectures'' (Bion, 2000, p. 204).