Early Emotional Child Development Essay

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Introduction 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…show more content…
Other psychoanalytical theorist – Erikson – contradicted Freud's idea based on biological stages by introducing child development in the context of social and cultural influences (Cunningham, 1993). Therefore we would talk about the psychosocial development as staged - the changes occur rapidly and each stage would be different from the previous one. Years on, many researches and observations have been undertaken and new psychoanalytical theories started to reject Freud's and Erikson's staged view on child development and replaced it by introducing child emotional development in the context of development of self and attachment with significant others. Infant Observation Observation of an infant in the family setting 'provides the observer with an opportunity to encounter primitive emotional states in the infant and his family...' (Rustin in Miller, 1989, 7). According to Rustin infant observation allows to 'explore the emotional events between infant and mother' and 'the aim is to describe the development of the relationship between infant and others (...) and try to understand the unconscious aspects of behaviour and patterns of communication' (Rustin in Miller, 1989, 7). Early infant observation plays a vital role in the psychodynamic training and it gives a thesis of how early emotional development is being influenced by subconscious family dynamics. Unmet Needs
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