In this essay I am going to show my understanding of a child's early emotional development based on the psychoanalytical view of child development. I will show how emotional skills gained in the early years can be of a significant relevance to later life. I will show my understanding by illustrating it with the clinical material. Although I am focusing on the psychoanalytical approach to child development I believe that it is beneficial to present also some general background knowledge of child development.
The Child as an Individual
The child has not been perceived like an individual until the work of eighteen century philosophers Locke and Rousseau, who expressed their thoughts on paper about the child's ability to interact with the surrounding world (Cunningham, 1993). The research on child development has commenced followed by the observational work of changing behaviours in organisms by Charles Darwin.
There are few fields within the child development science. One of them is represented by the psychoanalytical theory, which looks at the child emotional development within the context of social interaction and early attachments. This framework is called psychosocial as it looks on the emotional and social aspects. Running in parallel and influencing each other there are two more main areas, cognitive and physical. Although I am focusing on the aspects of the psychosocial development, it is important to remember that all these areas are being affected one by the other, where the development of the emotional skills plays central role in a regular development of cognitive and physical skills.
The psychoanalytical view on child development showed how early childhood experie...
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Cunningham, B. (1993). Child Development. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
Miller, L.( ed) (1989). Closely Observed Infants. London : Duckworth.
Karr-Morse, R., & Wiley, M. S. (1997). Ghost from the Nursery. New York : The Atlantic Monthly Press.
Obholzer, A., & Roberts, V.Z. (1994). The Unconscious at Work : Individual and Organisational Stress in the Human Services. London: Routledge
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