chapter  11
Transformations of early infantile experience: A six-month-old in psychoanalysis
Pages 22

My argument in this paper is that there is a methodological dilemma connected with psychoanalytical knowledge of infants. In the ®eld of psychoanalysis with somewhat older children and adults there is a continuous, mutual exchange going on between how we understand the course of events in the clinical setting and psychoanalytical theory; fruitful for both clinical work and theory. This fruitful intercourse is missing as a base for knowledge of infants, as the observations are not based on a psychoanalytical clinical setting. Psychoanalytical models of early infantile mental functioning are mainly constructions based on psychoanalysis with somewhat older children and adults according to `the method of working backwards from a developmental end-point' (Harrison, 2003, p. 1382). We are left with uncertainty concerning the actual infant's infantile mental functioning, as the more adult mental functions ± for example, verbal capacity and secondary repression ± develop as early as at two or three years of age and then overshadow the infantile mental functioning.