ABSTRACT

In the 1950s when I began my training as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst many concepts of infancy, what I would now call myths, were regarded by many as a positive yield from objective scientific inquiry-or more realistically-the best analysts treating adult patients could do. This method of approach, referred to as a “top down model”—from adult to infant began to be replaced by a “bottoms-up” approach in the 70s and 80s (Emde, 1981; Lichtenberg, 1983, 1989; Sander, 1975; Spitz, 1957; Stern, 1977, 1985) to mention only a few. The powerful impact of direct observation and planned research of infants and children on analytic theory and practice can be appreciated by recalling these myths. For clarification, I must add to what follows that all myths are based on one or more grains of truth.