Playing the Mind – by Marianne Parsons


Paper for a panel on child analysis for the English Speaking Weekend Conference on ‘From Action to Representation’

This paper will focus on the importance of play in analysis for the representation of the child’s internal world – ‘playing the mind’. Freud wrote little about children’s play, but he did note, “It is clear that in their play children repeat everything that has made a great impression on them in real life, and that in doing so they abreact the strength of the impression and … make themselves master of the situation …. even under the dominance of the pleasure principle, there are ways and means enough of making what is in itself unpleasurable into a subject to be recollected and worked over in the mind.” (Freud, 1920 p16-17).

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