FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND

CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS
BOOKS BY PETER FRITZ WALTER

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY LITIGATION

COACHING YOUR INNER CHILD

THE LEADERSHIP I CHING

LEADERSHIP & CAREER IN THE 21ST CENTURY

CREATIVE-C LEARNING

INTEGRATE YOUR EMOTIONS

KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

THE NEW PARADIGM IN BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP AND CAREER

THE NEW PARADIGM IN CONSCIOUSNESS AND SPIRITUALITY

THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

THE VIBRANT NATURE OF LIFE

SHAMANIC WISDOM MEETS THE WESTERN MIND

CREATIVE GENIUS

THE BETTER LIFE

SERVANT LEADERSHIP

CREATIVE LEARNING AND CAREER

FRITJOF CAPRA AND THE SYSTEMS VIEW OF LIFE

FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS
FRANÇOISE
DOLTO
AND CHILD
PSYCHO-
ANALYSIS
SHORT BIOGRAPHY, BOOK REVIEWS,
QUOTES, AND COMMENTS
(GREAT MINDS SERIES, VOL, 4)
by Peter Fritz Walter
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About Dr. Peter Fritz Walter
http://peterfritzwalter.com
About the Author

Parallel to an international law career in Germany, Switzerland
and the United States, Dr. Peter Fritz Walter (Pierre) focused upon
fine art, cookery, astrology, musical performance, social sciences
and humanities.

He started writing essays as an adolescent and received a high
school award for creative writing and editorial work for the
school magazine.

After finalizing his law diplomas, he graduated with an LL.M. in
European Integration at Saarland University, Germany, and with
a Doctor of Law title from University of Geneva, Switzerland, in
1987.

He then took courses in psychology at the University of Gene-
va   and interviewed a number of psychotherapists in Lausanne
and Geneva, Switzerland. His interest was intensified through a
hypnotherapy with an Ericksonian American hypnotherapist in
Lausanne. This led him to the recovery and healing of his inner
child.

In 1986, he met the late French psychotherapist and child psycho-
analyst Françoise Dolto (1908-1988) in Paris and interviewed her.
A long correspondence followed up to their encounter which was
considered by the curators of the Dolto Trust interesting enough
to be published in a book alongside all of Dolto’s other letter ex-
changes by Gallimard Publishers in Paris, in 2005.

After a second career as a corporate trainer and personal coach,
Pierre retired as a full-time writer, philosopher and consultant.

His nonfiction books emphasize a systemic, holistic, cross-cultural
and interdisciplinary perspective, while his fiction works and
short stories focus upon education, philosophy, perennial wis-
dom, and the poetic formulation of an integrative worldview.

Pierre is a German-French bilingual native speaker and writes
English as his 4th language after German, Latin and French. He
also reads source literature for his research works in Spanish,
Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch. In addition, Pierre has notions of
Thai, Khmer, Chinese and Japanese.

All of Pierre’s books are hand-crafted and self-published, de-
signed by the author. Pierre publishes via his Delaware company,
Sirius-C Media Galaxy LLC, and under the imprints of IPUBLICA
and SCM (Sirius-C Media).
The author’s profits from this book are being donated to charity.
Contents
Introduction! 9
About Great Minds Series

Chapter One! 13
Short Biography

Books Reviewed! 25

Chapter Two! 27
La Cause des Enfants

Review! 28
Quotes! 42
Parents and Princes! 42
Fear and Death! 42
Permissive Cultures vs. Our Culture! 43
The Importance of Language! 43
About Sex Education! 43
The Lost Knowledge about Child Sexuality! 44
The Sinful Child! 45
The Prison of Modern Childhood! 45
Our Obsession with Safety and Overprotection! 45
Genius and the Inner Child! 47
The Value of Losing Illusions! 47
The Value of Subjectiveness! 48
Questioning Cultural and Scientific Conditioning! 48
About Computers and Videogames! 49
Thoughts on Masturbation! 50
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

The Nature of Desire! 54
Children, a Special Race?! 54
The Inner Child! 55
Children Are Unafraid! 56
Mother-Child Telepathy! 57
Pathologies Resulting from Precocious Nursery Placement! 57
Welcoming the Newborn! 58
Marginalized Uniqueness and Originality! 58
Guilt vs. Responsibility! 60
Theories of the Child’s Superior Capabilities! 60
Importance of Language 2! 61

Chapter Three! 65
Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie

Review! 66
Quotes! 76

Chapter Four! 81
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 1

Chapter Five! 87
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 2

Chapter Six! 101
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 3

Bibliography! 107
Contextual Bibliography

Personal Notes! 125

8
Introduction
About Great Minds Series

We are currently transiting as a human race a time of
great challenge and adventure that opens to us new path-
ways for rediscovering and integrating the perennial holis-
tic wisdom of ancient civilizations into our modern science
paradigm. These civilizations were thriving before patriar-
chy was putting nature upside-down.

Currently, with the advent of the networked global so-
ciety, and systems theory as its scientific paradigm, we are
looking into a different world, with a rise of ‘horizontal’
and ‘sustainable’ structures both in our business culture,
and in science, and last not least on the important areas of
psychology, medicine, and spirituality.
—A paradigm, from Greek ‘paradeigma,’ is a pattern of things, a
configuration of ideas, a set of dominant beliefs, a certain way of look-
ing at the world, a set of assumptions, a frame of reference or lens, and
even an entire worldview.
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

While most of this new and yet old path has yet to be
trotted, we cannot any longer overlook the changes that
happen all around us virtually every day.

Invariably, as students, scientists, doctors, consultants,
lawyers, business executives or government officials, we
face problems today that are so complex, entangled and
novel that they cannot possibly be solved on the basis of
our old paradigm, and our old way of thinking. As Albert
Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem on the same level
of thought that created it in the first place— hence the need
for changing our view of looking at things, the world, and
our personal and collective predicaments.
What still about half a decade ago seemed unlikely is
happening now all around us: we are rediscovering more
and more fragments of an integrative and holistic wisdom
that represents the cultural and scientific treasure of many
ancient tribes and kingdoms that were based upon a per-
ennial tradition which held that all in our universe is inter-
connected and interrelated, and that humans are set in the
world to live in unison with the infinite wisdom inherent
in creation as a major task for driving evolution forward!
It happens in science, since the advent of relativity the-
ory, quantum physics and string theory, it happens in neu-
roscience and systems theory, it happens in molecular bi-
ology, and in ecology, and as a result, and because science
is a major motor in society, it happens now with increasing
speed in the industrial and the business world, and in the

10
ABOUT GREAT MINDS SERIES

way people earn their lives and manifest their innate tal-
ents through their professional engagement.
And it happens also, and what this book is set to em-
phasize, in psychology and psychoanalysis, for Françoise
Dolto, while having been a member of the Freudian psy-
choanalytic school, has created an approach to healing
psychotic children that was really unknown to the founder
of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.

More and more people begin to realize that we cannot
honestly continue to destroy our globe by disregarding the
natural law of self-regulation, both outwardly, by polluting
air and water, and inside, by tolerating our emotions to be
in a state of repression and turmoil.

Self-regulation is built into the life function and it can
be found as a consistent pattern in the lifestyle of natives
peoples around the world. It is similar with our immense
intuitive and imaginal faculties that were downplayed in
centuries of darkness and fragmentation, and that now
emerge anew as major key stones in a worldview that puts
the whole human at the frontline, a human who uses their
whole brain, and who knows to balance their emotions
and natural passions so as to arrive at a state of inner peace
and synergetic relationships with others that bring mutual
benefit instead of one-sided egotistic satisfaction.
For lasting changes to happen, however, to paraphrase
J. Krishnamurti, we need to change the thinker, we need to
undergo a transformation that puts our higher self up as
the caretaker of our lives, not our conditioned ego.

11
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Hence the need to really look over the fence and get
beyond social, cultural and racial conditioning for adopt-
ing an integrative and holistic worldview that is focused
on more than problem-solving.
What this book tries to convey is that taking the exam-
ple of one of the greatest child psychoanalysts of our time,
we may see that it’s not too late, be it for our planet and for
us humans, our careers, our science, our collective spiritual
advancement, and our scientific understanding of nature,
and that we can thrive in a world that is surely more dif-
ferent in ten years from now that it was one hundred years
in the past compared to now.
We are free to continue to feel like victims in this new
reality, and wait for being taken care of by the state, or we
may accept the state, and society, as human creations that
will never be perfect, and venture into creating our lives
and careers in accordance with our true mission, and based
upon our real gifts and talents.

Let me say a last word about this series of books about
great personalities of our time, which I came to call ‘Great
Minds’ Collection. The books within this collection do not
just feature books but authors, you may call them author
reviews instead of book reviews, and they are more exten-
sive also in highlighting the personal mission and autobio-
graphical details which are to note for each author, includ-
ing extensive quotes from their books.

12
Chapter One
Short Biography

Dr Françoise M. Dolto (1908-1988) was one of the most
important people I met in my younger years. Our meeting
in 1986 in Paris has been a major trigger for my profes-
sional transformation and personal change.
I had been unhappy with my profession. While my ca-
reer as an international lawyer had been well on the way
with all examinations accomplished, including a Doctor of
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Law title from the reputed Geneva University Law Faculty
in international law, I felt my life was empty, without soul
and without a profound meaning. I was at a crossroads as
a career in law would mean to me to live my life only with
my left brain, leaving my right brain out from any impact
upon my professional accomplishments.
While studying law, especially later with my speciali-
zation upon European and International Law was interest-
ing, it did not give me emotional satisfaction nor the feel-
ing to help people. It was all about ‘winning a case,’ and
being cunning enough to find a strategy that would con-
vince the court and get the other party into defeat. I was
good at it, though, and during my work as a probationer at
Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer, a reputed international law
firm in Cologne, Germany, I won all the cases and got a
very good work certificate as a result.
From childhood, a rather emotional and intuitive char-
acter, my desire had been to become a musical teacher, or a
recording engineer in the radio, but my mother found it
better for me to study law, so I followed her advice, and it
was then mostly for my mother that I finalized this rather
long training to become an international lawyer.
In the very year of my enrollment in law school, 1975, I
started reading the collected works of Sigmund Freud and
Wilhelm Reich, and started to study law, music and psy-
chology in parallel. After my graduation in 1982 and my
admission for the doctorate in Geneva in 1983, I began to
meet with psychologists and psychoanalysts in Lausanne

14
SHORT BIOGRAPHY

and Geneva, Switzerland. Surprisingly, I got a quite spon-
taneously positive response from all of them, suggesting to
change my career and become a practicing psychoanalyst.

This interest in the healing professions was intensified
through a psychotherapy I went through in Lausanne with
an American hypnotherapist trained under Milton H. Er-
ickson, and led me to the recovery and healing of my inner
child. I also found at that time the prayer technique devel-
oped by Dr. Joseph Murphy, presented and explained in
Murphy’s bestselling book The Power of Your Subconscious
Mind (1963).
Meeting psychiatrists during that important time of
professional transition, I learnt that I had a unique gift for
the mental health profession. As a result, I intensified my
studies of   traditional   psychoanalysis as well as   Transac-
tional Analysis (TA) and became a member of the Swiss As-
sociation of Transactional
In 1986, I met Françoise Dolto (1908-1988) in Paris and
interviewed her. A long correspondence followed up to our
encounter which was considered by curators of the Dolto
Trust interesting enough to be published in a book along-
side all of Dolto’s other letter exchanges by Gallimard Pub-
lishers in Paris, in 2005.

The main subjects of our conversation were the sexual
nature of the small child and babies, the need for children
and adolescents to build autonomy as early as possible in
life, and the etiology of pedophilia as a childhood hangup.
Françoise Dolto was strongly in favor of a liberalization of

15
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

adult-child sexual relations and explained to me in detail
why the present state of non-coded relationships in this
grey zone of society have negative consequences for both
the children and the adults involved in such relationships.
While she emphasized that adult-child sexual relations
must remain forbidden within the family and the psycho-
therapeutic setting, she thought that in accordance with
the noble classes in former centuries in Europe such rela-
tions are beneficial for children, as they serve as an impor-
tant buffer zone within the parent-child relationships that
otherwise easily becomes codependent and incestuous in
the framework of the modern nuclear urban family.
We also discussed teacher-student relations, and here,
Dr. Dolto expressed her opinion that children form their
personal sexual culture in a homosexual identification with
their same-sex teachers, not through acting out on these
desires, of course, but on the internal, psychosexual level.
That means that, in accordance with the Freudian scheme
of child sexuality, the sexuality of the child passes through
three important phases: the oral phase—birth to about 18
months—, the anal phase—18 months to approximately 4
1/2 years—, and the genital or oedipal phase—4 1/2 years
to about 7 years, followed by the latency phase and ado-
lescence.
Now, with regard to the genital development of the child
during the oedipal phase, Françoise Dolto stressed the im-
portance of teachers being willing to accept the psychic
love transfer upon them by the ‘oedipal’ child. We came to

16
SHORT BIOGRAPHY

discuss this point because I had related to Dr. Dolto my
experiences in pre-schools with children of that age who
had behaved in overly seductive and eroticized ways, and
I could not find a clue to such behavior, as I was sure to not
having myself provoked it with any inappropriate behav-
ior on my part. Dr. Dolto smiled when I finished my report
and said:
—You have done a very good job! Many, mostly female
educators and often from rather traditional families tend to
reject children when they behave in such a way, calling it
‘disturbed behavior’ or otherwise, ignoring the often quite
erotic appeal of the oedipal child. Thus, they react to such
advances with aggression, and thereby interfere negatively
with the child’s psychosexual growth. You, perhaps with-
out knowing it, have acted appropriately being permissive
in these situations without questioning the children.
We then discussed the pedophilia hysteria in France that
was in full swing in the second part of the 1980s, and I was
amazed at the absolutely refreshing views I got to learn
from this great, remarkable woman. She thought that the
penal code had to be changed, that adult-child sexual rela-
tions had to be socially coded, and that only violent sexual
relations between adults and children should be punish-
able by criminal law.
It was there and then that I learnt about the psychoana-
lytic concept of the ‘Code’ that had been developed by Jac-
ques Lacan. The Code means a codification in language of
patterns of behavior that are part of human conduct, with-

17
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

out asking if such patterns of behavior are socially desired or
not. It has been observed by Freudian psychoanalysis that
the Code sets up a structure in the human psyche that is
conducive to law-abiding behavior, while uncoded desires
or forms of conduct tend to generate chaotic behavior, and
crime. Considering psychic dynamics, the necessity for so-
cial policy making to code human desire becomes obvious.
When a particular desire is embraced by the Code it will be
humanized and becomes subject of conscious control.
Desires that are not coded cannot according to psycho-
analysis be sublimated and will instead be repressed and
projected.
After that, we discussed the psychiatric etiology of pe-
dophilia and Dr. Dolto expressed her deep conviction that
an exclusive sexual attraction of adults to children is as
unnatural as homosexuality or lesbianism. She explained
that pedophilia is a ‘childhood hangup’ in the sense that it
is an unconscious search for a ‘missed childhood’ resulting
from overprotection and a narcissistic fixation of parents
that leads to groom their children excessively in a way to
channel them into adult company, and depriving them of
free play with other children. Thus, the adult pedophile is
out to gain access to children in order to heal his own nar-
cissistic wounding, inflicting to him or her by their parents.
Dr. Dolto’s etiology of pedophilia was precisely match-
ing my own research while at that time, the psychiatric lit-
erature in general was pretty much in the dark about these
facts and paradoxically sympathized with pedophiles who

18
SHORT BIOGRAPHY

said in public their attraction was ‘inborn.’ It took two dec-
ades to get psychiatry to see that pedophile attraction is as
much an emotional distortion as homosexuality that occurs
in early childhood, and thus by no means ‘inborn.’
I believe these few facts show that Françoise Dolto was
really one of the greatest psychoanalysts of France and one
of the most intuitive and successful and renowned child
therapists worldwide. Her open-mindedness was unusual
at her lifetime, while I am convinced that it would be even
more unusual in our time!
Now, let me give you a few biographical details.
Françoise Dolto originated from an upper class family
from Paris and was raised in family with a Catholic back-
ground.
Her psychological lucidity manifested early in life. In
her book La Cause des Enfants (1985), she reveals that al-
ready at the age of five she could fluently read and write,
and told her parents, after having read a number of books
about medicine, that she wanted to become ‘une doctoresse
pour les enfants’ (a child doctor). After she studied medicine
and worked as a nurse, she developed a strong intellectual
and practical interest for Sigmund Freud and pursued a
psychoanalytic cure with René Laforgue (1894-1962) which
was going over three years. It has to be noted that, at that
time, in France, psychoanalysis was still marginal. Conser-
vative bourgeoisie in France frowned upon the teaching of
Freud, with all its sexual allusions. It was after all thought

19
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

to be an pure invention of the ‘Jewish’ mind only, having
now real relevance to daily life and people’s problems.
Subsequently, she began to work with psychotic chil-
dren and participated in seminars with Spitz, Nacht and
Lowenstein, starting a private practice, next to her continu-
ing work as a hospital psychiatrist. And she focused upon
serving in hospitals, with a specific focus upon institutions.
For it must be seen that at that time there was no real
psychiatric care for mental illness as it was not yet under-
stood that physical and mental illness are different in their
etiology, thus the social reality was quite horrible: patients
with both physical and mental illness were hospitalized in
the same hospitals, while psychiatric care was as good as
non-existent. Hospitals had as good as no funding and the
situation with mentally ill patients was particularly averse
because it was thought that mental illness was a result of
some kind of godly punishment for ‘bad deeds.’
It was a situation, back in 1935, that was for her a time
not of fulfillment but of challenge, a time of trial. All films
and documents from that time show her with a sad face!
And it was during that challenging time that Dr. Dolto
took a very important decision for the rest of her life. She
thought that there was no valid reason to work with adults
for changing the pathology of society because it was too
late for them to change, thus she focused upon children,
very small children and babies actually, as a matter of psy-
chopathological prevention.

20
SHORT BIOGRAPHY

On May 5, 1936, she started her service at the Children
Psychiatry Hospital of Vaugirard, with Professor Georges
Heuyer. She stated in retrospection:

—I learnt from Professor Heuyer what we must not do.
More and more, her psychoanalytic approach focused
on language, influenced by the powerful ideas of Jacques
Lacan (1901-1981), and based upon the power of the spo-
ken word.

From that time, Dolto developed a personal therapy style
that puts the stress on words and syntax, a style that is her
own creation and gave her creative freedom and space in
her psychotherapeutic work with disturbed children.
And it was in this gray area of psychiatry, the complete
and spontaneous healing of psychotic children, who had
been abandoned as incurable by other psychoanalysts and
psychiatrists, that Dolto gained fame in France and later
worldwide; she was in her later years constantly present
on radio and TV.

In fact, Françoise Dolto, at the height of her career, was
so famous in France that every schoolboy would know her
name, and she would run her radio talks and later, her TV
presence, every weekend, consulting families about how to
avoid parental behavior that gets children emotionally dis-
turbed, and how to deal with incestuous desires.
She had become a sort of ‘national guru’ on child psy-
choanalysis and child therapy and her fame was certainly
no bluff. The contribution she has made to understanding

21
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

the psychosexual growth of children is unique in psychia-
try, and generally, in world history.
I interviewed Françoise Dolto in 1986, after having vis-
ited La Maison Verte in Paris, a center she had created for
parents and children that mainly served to prepare chil-
dren for greater lapses of time away from their parents and
the early kindergarten experience.
After that enriching visit, I went to her apartment at
260, rue Saint-Jacques, near the Panthéon, Paris. After a
short introduction of myself, I told Françoise Dolto about
my work with children, and also my emotional predilection
for children, and the educational work in general. And she
replied that she found it very beneficial for children to be
able to project their oedipal desires on other adults than
their parents, and parents should be thankful to educators
or generally other adults who are willing to accept chil-
dren’s erotic love transfer upon them; this would greatly re-
duce the abhorrent incestuous tensions within the modern
nuclear urban family.
In her book La Cause des Enfants (1985), Françoise Dolto
writes:

In the nuclear family of today, especially in the town, the
tensions and conflicts are much more explosive if they re-
main under the surface. Today, the number of persons the
child is in contact with is more restricted than before. In the
17th and 18th centuries, the child could transfer his or her
incestuous desires on other women who found it funny to
play sexual games with small boys and young people that
they were not the mother of.
22
SHORT BIOGRAPHY

—Françoise Dolto, La Cause des Enfants (1985), p. 29 (Translation
mine).

Further, Françoise Dolto writes in Psychanalyse et Pédia-
trie (1971):

All those who study behavior problems, functional organic
troubles, the educators, the doctors in the true sense of the
term, must have notions about the role of libidinal life and
know that sexual education is the grain for the social adapta-
tion of the individual.

— Françoise Dolto, Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie (1971), p. 63 (Transla-
tion mine).

No other mental health professional was ever so out-
spoken about the function of the educator as a target for
the oedipal child’s sexual wishes.
While she, as a strictly Catholic believer and defendant
of Freudian mainstream psychoanalysis, ruled out sexual
interaction between educator and student, she encouraged
educators to talk desire (parler désir) with the children in
their care so that desire becomes verbalized and coded in
language.
Dolto found the projection of the child’s gerontophilic
desires upon educators as something natural and healthy,
and even necessary in today’s urban culture.

In her first seminar on child psychoanalysis, Séminaire
de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 1, she told her participants
that children constitute their ‘cultural self’ through a homo-
sexual love transfer upon their same-sex teachers, who are,

23
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

other than their parents, representatives of the ‘cultural
map’ children have to build in order to become members
of their society’s cultural heritage:

Children constitute themselves finally in a homosexual rela-
tionship. Archaic drives continue to be heterosexual or ho-
mosexual, with the father or with the mother depending on
the sex of the child, but the genital drives are lived only with
teachers because only with them the child can bring about a
fruit within a relationship of culture and knowledge.

—Françoise Dolto, Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 1
(1982), p. 98 (Translation mine).

24
Books Reviewed
La Cause des Enfants (1985)

Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie (1971)

Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 1 (1982)

Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 2 (1985)

Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 3 (1988)
Chapter Two
La Cause des Enfants
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

La Cause des Enfants
Paris: Robert Laffont, 1985

Review
La Cause des Enfants (The Cause of the Child) is perhaps
Dolto’s best book; it is certainly her most well-known. I am
quoting here from the French version, and intently so.
I have had a glimpse into English translations, and was
disappointed. The quotes in my review are translated by
myself from the French original.
No English translation that I found so far accurately
translates the original, and this for reasons that are obvi-
ous. Translators cannot be expected to have expert knowl-
edge in fields as esoteric as child psychoanalysis, thus they
cannot be blamed for their misunderstanding publications
that deal with such subjects.

In this book review, I shall focus on the topic of child
sexuality for the simple reason that Dolto is today among
very few authors and child therapy professionals who are
not following our mainstream educational paradigm which
clearly tends to blind out or even suppress the emosexual
nature of the child.
It was precisely for this reason that I contacted Dolto in
1986 and interviewed her in Paris, as in my research on the
roots of violence, I had found a clear correlation between
the repression of the child’s emotional and sexual life and
structural, social and domestic violence against children; a

28
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

letter exchange with Dolto was to follow on the topic of
violence against children and methods of social preven-
tion. To begin with, Françoise Dolto writes:

Sexuality is of very high importance since our birth; it does
not cease to be expressed by the child, day by day, through
the vocabulary of the body. The genital drives enter in inter-
psychic communication which is permanent between human
beings since the beginnings of their life. They are projected
in a language which is the language at the level of our
development./25

While affirming child sexuality, as I will point out more
in detail below and in the other reviews of her books, Dr.
Dolto was not in favor of giving the child the right of real
love affairs with peers and adults outside of the family.
Logically, from her point of departure, she would have
had to acknowledge the child’s full sexual freedom, such
as for example Wilhelm Reich claimed it in public, many
years before her. But she followed the example of Sigmund

29
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Freud who said that psychiatry had to respect the basic setup
of society and as ours is one that prohibits the free sexual
life of children, health care professionals had to limit them-
selves to giving support to children who become neurotic
or schizophrenic through society’s love prohibition.
But interestingly, despite the academic and paradig-
matic clash between Dolto and Reich, on the question of
sex education, their views coincided. Both thought that any
sex education comes too late and should not be a matter of
intellectual or school-based learning, but if ever had to be
learnt experientially, in the first years of life.
According to Dolto, the fact that so many people reject
child sexuality has a simple and quite surprising reason:
it’s a loss of memory of events before the Oedipus Complex
set in.

Memory in adults erases all that belongs to the pre-oedipal
period. That is why our society has so much difficulty to ac-
cept infantile sexuality. In past centuries there were the
nurses who knew it. Parents, however, ignored it./29-30

This means, in clear text, that the oedipal experience is
traumatic for the child, because otherwise there would not
be loss of memory! For one of the fundamental insights of
psychoanalysis in the true cause of childhood amnesia is that
amnesia is caused by child trauma. While strictly Freudian
psychoanalysis teach that all but auto-erotic sexuality brings
about child trauma, the truth is that the very situation of
the child within the life-denying structure of our consumer
culture is the trigger of child trauma, and not the rather lib-

30
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

erating experience of sexual exchange with people outside
of the nuclear family prison. But note that Dolto has not
said this, and she could possibly not see it because she was
paradigmatically fixated in the Freudian analytic system, and
never really went beyond. While she developed her own
approach to child psychoanalysis, questioning only few
assumptions of Freud’s genitality theory with regard to
female sexuality, she never refuted the basic assumptions
of Freud, and the real angular stone among them being the
theory of the Oedipus Complex. However, she was well con-
scious that the repressive attitude of today’s modern soci-
ety toward restricting the child’s social and erotic life is a
negative factor in the healthy upbringing of children. She
writes:

In the nuclear family of today, especially in urban areas, the
tensions and conflicts are much more explosive, and this is
so because they are underlying. Today, the number of per-
sons a child is in touch with is more restrained than for-
merly. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the child could transfer
their incestuous feelings toward other women than their
mothers who enjoyed to play little funny sex games with
little boys or young people of whom they were not the
mother./29

Dolto also emphasized in the interview and our subse-
quent correspondence that educators should be conscious
of their erotic attraction to children, and not repress it, as
this very attraction could function as a positive trigger of the
child’s genital development. This is important to know as
there are children who refuse to enter the genital phase.

31
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

These children, in most cases girls, are known to de-
velop a narcissistic fixation, which can potentially cause an
psychosexual attraction to females later on, that is, they
might become Lesbians.
Dolto said that in the eroticized educational relation,
the child could project their incestuous longings on the
educator instead of the parent. Thus, erotic love transfer in
the relationship educator-child was clearly judged positively
by Françoise Dolto, while she was vehemently against a
factual acting out of sexual longings involved in any kind
of tutelary relationship. Dolto was convinced that children
constitute themselves in a fantasy love relation, and that
the erotic transfer is allowed only on the level of the un-
conscious, not in real life. This is how psychoanalysis has
forged our lives; we are allowed to constitute ourselves in
fantasy relations, and remain basic masturbators in real rela-
tions, emotionally and sometimes even sexually.
Emotional masturbation is one of the greatest individ-
ual and collective plagues in today’s consumer culture; it is
called narcissism. We are namely conditioned for it from the
cradle, through the societal denial of the child-child genital
embrace, and its replacement by the modern society’s gen-
erous permissiveness for us to become prime masturba-
tors.
Dolto reports in her book that still back in the 18th cen-
tury in France women of higher social classes were seen to
have erotic relationships with young boys. She further re-
lates in this book that many women were considered at-

32
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

tractive and charming exactly because they could proudly
small-talk about their sex adventures with young boys, a
fact that nobody at that time found immoral or indecent.
This is further corroborated by descriptions of the habits of
the Royal Family in France, as reported by the doctor of
Louis XIII, Héroard.

—J. Héroard, Journal de Jean Héroard sur l’Enfance et la Jeunesse
de Louis XIII (1868), Lloyd DeMause (Ed.), The History of Childhood
(1974), p. 23 and Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood (1962).

In general, the repression of intergenerational sexuality
is typically a problem only in our modern industrialized
nations, while there is much wider acceptance to be found
in a large range of other cultures, and thus most of the cul-
tures in the world. It is therefore not taken for granted that
the majority of the world population would deny the exis-
tence of children’s sexuality in the same way as this is the
case within the Anglo-Saxon world, a fact that many Brit-
ish, Australian or American childhood researchers forget to
consider.
Dolto wrote that if parents are, because of their relig-
ious upbringing, not in state to actively encourage children
for their healthy sexual development, they should at least
tell the child clearly, in explicit terms. The verbal exchange
then would greatly help the child to sublimate the desire.
In Freudian terms, this means that the child will have
greater ease to cope with their Oedipus Complex. To repeat
it, Dolto called talking desire (parler désir) such constructive
talk about sexual feelings, which she considered being a

33
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

condition for humanizing desire and for integrating sexual
feelings that our society bans from being lived out.

Personal identity that is said to be the only possible one
according to Western mainstream psychiatry is a derived
identity. It is derived from the parents’ identities. For a boy,
for example, the process will be identification with the fa-
ther, as a primary homosexual identification, during the anal
phase and identification with the mother, as a secondary
heterosexual identification during the genital phase.
True identity is built, according to this system, when
the boy has successfully liquidated the Oedipus Complex by
having developed enough aggressiveness toward the fa-
ther and enough castration of his incestuous desire toward
the mother at the same time. Dolto said in her first work-
shop on child psychoanalysis:

34
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

Q: Why do many French parents never care about the per-
formance of their children in school? How can these children
constitute themselves?

A: Children constitute themselves regularly in homosexual
relationships. Archaic drives continue to be heterosexual or
homosexual, with the father or with the mother depending
on the sex of the child, but the genital drives are lived only
with teachers because only with them the child can bring
about a fruit within a relationship of culture and knowledge.

—Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 1 (1982), p. 98 (Trans-
lation mine).

That this system is built on the grave of child-sexuality,
in the sense of child-child sexual activity, is clear from the
start. It was clear to Freud but later on was occulted. Freud
simply commented to Reich: Culture primes! It goes with-
out saying that Freud meant Judeo-Christian culture. He
was convinced that Western culture, by overtaking the
concept of free child sexuality as it is typically part of ma-
triarchal cultures, would be thrown into chaos. Thus, what
Freud’s system has put forward is Oedipal Culture, an in-
cest culture, by discarding out of accepted reality the sex-
ual activeness of the child. The sexually active child does
certainly not fit in the reality of a technology-based society.

—As to the opposite cultural paradigm, as practiced, for example,
by the permissive Trobriand culture, see Bronislaw Malinowski, The
Sexual Life of Savages in North West Melanesia (1929) and Sex and Re-
pression in Savage Society, (1927/1985).

35
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

The child needed in industrial culture is the child that
is subservient to an eroticized relationship with his or her
parents. Freud certainly did not intend to ‘institutionalize
incest,’ but he made cultural neurosis the norm that primes
over nature, thereby actively engaging the framework of
the fascist and neurotic paradigm of Oedipal Culture.

Among the few psychoanalysts who have admitted
this pitfall of the Freudian system and explanation of cul-
ture were Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm and partly also
Françoise Dolto; however, she remained, perhaps because
of her Christian faith, firmly convinced that children, while
being sexual from birth, should not be allowed to live their
sexuality freely with peers or other adults.
She saw and admitted the traumatic effect that this de-
nial has upon children, but, similar to Freud, argued that
our culture was setup in this way by our tradition and that
we had to respect this—or else change and live in another
culture, for example Latin America. She went there often
and admired especially what she saw forbidden in our cul-
ture: children’s free sexual play from early age.

36
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

And she was really affirmative about it, but only, to re-
peat it, when the cultural setting is favorable to it.
In the past, in rural societies, roles were much more
tightly defined, but on the other hand, social exchanges
were by far more various. It was for example normal that
even smaller children played freely and unobserved in the
streets, in huge plains or even forests.

And, as we can learn from the literature of our poets,
encounters between strangers and little girls were very
common, not only in the country, but also in the major
towns like London or Paris. This was still so at the begin-
ning of the industrialization in London, and in Paris at the
time of Napoleon III. Children were also much more with
adults other than their parents, who assisted the parents in
educating them, as this is the case today.

37
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

As an example of different roles and behavior models
of past societies regarding child sexuality, Dolto references
Jean Héroard and Philippe Ariès and explicates:

Until the age of six, adults behaved with the prince in a per-
verse manner: they played with his penis, allowed him to
play with their genitals and to come in adults’ beds for teas-
ing them. All this was allowed. But suddenly, when he was
six, they dressed him like an adult and he had to behave ac-
cording to the etiquette. Despite the trauma that this could
have caused, there was something essential he could keep
from these years because he had lived his sexuality with
other people than his mother and his father./28-29

But we do not need to jump almost two centuries back;
in fact, we got valid alternative lifestyle models during the
1960s and 70s for children being able to live their sexual
desires freely within communes, even in such a highly
child-protective culture as the United States. There was high
awareness, at that time, about the need for children to ex-
teriorize their emotions and sexual feelings, and within
communes. The characteristic of communes is namely that
the tight nuclear structure of the modern urban family is
alleviated and a sort of extended family structure is re-
created that allows the child to be parented by a range of
adults who felt and acted like the parents toward the child.
Besides, child-child sexual interaction was actively encour-
aged during these years in early child care in countries like
Norway and Sweden, as it is amply documented.
In my conversations with Françoise Dolto, the main
topic was if a child caretaker could positively value his or her
38
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

erotic feelings for the child, and if these erotic feelings could
bring about a positive transfer toward the child. Dolto af-
firmed the legitimacy of such feelings, provided the care-
taker had been psychoanalyzed, and affirmed their positive
impact on the child’s psychosexual development as they
would virtually draw the child into the genital phase,
thereby counteracting to the rampant narcissism that the
unhealthy codependent clinging to the parent of the same
sex typically brings about in most consumer children to-
day.

Despite her bias that did not allow Dolto to actively
campaign for the sexual freedom of children, and despite
the fact that she openly said that she liked to watch, study
and analyze sexually active children in Latin American cul-
tures, Dolto went farther than most child therapists today
in admitting that our today’s culture and society is among
the most repressive ever in human history regarding the
sexual freedom of the child. She writes:

In order to live the feelings that accompany relationships,
the child is much more restrained today than in olden times;

39
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

they are much more around their fathers and mothers, who
are caretakers and educators. In earlier centuries, parents
were neither caretakers nor educators, but colleagues in
work rites or rites of social representation. Children behaved
like their parents in relation to the world, to space, and there
were many more adults around who replaced the parents at
times, and children could project their incestuous feelings
upon them./29-30

There is certainly stronger repression in our society than in
earlier cultures. Also on the level of the child. In olden times,
there were not the same prohibitions for children’s sexual
play in place, except between siblings, and for sexual play
between children and adults, except their parents./30

I have found about the best explanation of narcissism in
this book, and I would say that contrary to the definitions
of narcissism by Alice Miller and Alexander Lowen, it’s a
functional and bioenergetic definition of narcissism. Miller
and Lowen define narcissism as the denial of the true self,
but mystery remains about how this denial comes about.
Dolto explains the why and how, and from her explanation
it becomes clear that narcissism is the very denial to enter
the genital phase and develop a heterosexual identity:

Narcissism, in the beginning, is always to avoid something
new that would go in the sense of growing-out the narcissis-
tic development of the child, depending on his or her gen-
der. The narcissistic child denies this desire to grow along
the lines of their gender, boy or girl, toward the Oedipus.

This is what we always find in child psychoanalysis. It’s
perhaps an obsessional tick I have; I would like you to say

40
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

that. What we found clinically, until now, was that obses-
sional behavior always is an avoidance of growing toward
the Oedipus, or because the child overly focuses on one ele-
ment of the Oedipus without wanting to pass to the next. For
it’s also obsessional to cling to one’s mother, no?

I believe that a child cannot live his or her Oedipus by cling-
ing to their mother. It’s an obsessional symptom with one of
the components of the Oedipus—homosexuality or narcis-
sism, including the necessity to be a partial object of the
mother instead of being castrated from being such an object
and becoming a subject, be it a subject that carries a penis, or
not. If the child does not possess the possibilities or models
of authorization, because of lateral prohibitions, to direct
himself or herself toward a specific genital option—receptor
agent for the girl and emitting agent for the boy—the child
enters an obsessional pattern: ‘Before all, I will cling to
mother.’

You all know this day-to-day obsessional symptom that ap-
pears between four and seven years with the child who asks
their mother for the permission to go to the toilet, while the
child has already gained sufficient autonomy. What we have
to study here is not the behavior of the child, but the triangu-
lation, as it appears in the discourse, and the role played by
the person who is the pole of identification of the child in
this triangular situation: to know if this third person invites
the child to go beyond his or her pre-genital attitude and
invest his or her genital drives in culture./23-35

41
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Quotes
Quotes from this book, grouped contextually.

Parents and Princes

‣ Parents educate their children as princes reigned over their
vassals. (Id., p. 13)

‣ It’s a scandal for an adult to realize that a child could be their
equal. (Id.)

‣ In [French] society before 1789, the apprenticeship is the rite
of initiation: it’s the birth of the child-individus. He is recog-
nized as the subject to the verb ‘to do’ from the moment he is
away from home and able to do useful work. But he then is
treated like a production machine, because one can beat him
up to break him; he can be scrupulously punished and even
put to death (the father can exercise his right to correct the
child even if he by so doing kills the child). (Id., pp. 17-18).

‣ It is significative that over some capitals in cathedrals, the
peasants are represented according to the morphology of a
child’s body, with the proportion of the much larger head of
the child in relation to the rest of the body. Here the artist
served the intention of the prince. The inverse, vassals, poor
people, children, same kind of portrait, same kind of fight.
(Id., p. 18).

Fear and Death

‣ Nobody can ever resolve castration fear. This fear nourishes
our idea of death. (Id., p. 23).

‣ In the past, death was a familiar experience; we have dis-
carded it out of the life of children, once again with the same
protection mania which consists of hiding all from the young
that adults are afraid of: old age, sickness, and death. (Id., p.
87).

‣ Children are in no way afraid of death. Why do parents not
want their children being in contact with death, given chil-
dren are not afraid of it? (Id., p. 90).

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

Permissive Cultures vs. Our Culture

‣ With Blacks, there is no adult who would not tell a little boy
—before the initiation: ‘I will grab your penis and cut it off.’
This is part of social life, and customary rites. And the child
will not believe it. He is glad that somebody talks about his
organ. In our society they say: ‘Oh, one must never say
things like that, that traumatizes the child!’ Well, it all de-
pends on the way of saying it; needless to add it should be
with a grain of humor. It is sane to put words on something
that creates anxiety with young boys. (Id., p. 23).

The Importance of Language

‣ All what is not voiced creates a certain danger of confusion
and this again may lead to incest. It is important to tell a
young boy that he cannot take the place of the father and
that there are sexual relations in the couple that he must not
disturb, and that he will know himself once he marries a
woman other than his mother. (Id., p. 24).

‣ The aggressiveness of certain individuals of our race is
rooted in a basic ignorance of their origins because we know
that they have not received a verbal explanation from
mother or father that initiated them into the truth that it is
desire that was the root cause of their coming into the world.
In most cases, if ever, children are instructed that they are the
fruit of some kind of body function, but they are not told
that they owe their existence to two beings who desired each
other, the desire namely that creates life and the enigma in-
herent in it. (Id., p. 128).

About Sex Education

‣ Anyway, this information comes much too late because our
sexuality is very important since we were born; it doesn’t
cease to express itself in the child, day by day, in the vocabu-
lary of the body. The genital drives create an interpsychic
communication which is permanent in all humans since
their birth. They are projected into language at every stage of
our development. During puberty, when a feeling of respon-
sibility is cognized, the psyche, which is a metaphor of the
soma, would be mature enough for the sexual act. (Id., pp.
25-26).

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

The Lost Knowledge about Child Sexuality

‣ Memory with adults erases all recall of the pre-oedipal time.
This is why in our society so many people have so much
pain to accept child sexuality. In past centuries it was only
the wet nurses who knew about it. The parents ignored it.
The nurses knew because they actually lived together with
the children, while the parents in families of the bourgeoisie
and even in rural areas, were distant from their children.
People who cared for children knew that there is some kind
of behavioral expression that is prior to language. When
Freud talked about child masturbation, adults screamed, but
wet nurses said: ‘But of course … all children do that.’ Why,
then, did they not talk about it? It’s because for most adults,
children were on the level of nice pets or of crude animals,
depending on the love one felt for them. (Id., p. 28).

‣ The childhood of Louis XIII, as Philippe Ariès showed it, is a
good example for a young life where no prohibitions were
set. Until the prince was 6-years old, adults would behave
perversely with him: they used to play with his penis, and
allowed him to play with their genitals and come in their
beds, for teasing them. All this was allowed. But suddenly,
when he was 6, they dressed him like an adult and he had to
behave like an adult in accordance with the royal etiquette.
(Id.) (Quoting Philippe Ariès, L’Enfant et la vie familiale sous
l’Ancien Régime (1975), p. 145.)

‣ Despite the child trauma that could have occurred, the
prince had nonetheless an essential benefit of all of this be-
cause in his first years of life, he could live his sexuality with
other people than his parents. He had a greater opportunity
than anybody else in that respect, despite the precocious
clothing as an adult. But behold, this example is only valid
for the rich classes of society. In lower classes of society, we
have to ask how the child of that time could repress his in-
cestuous desires, and sublimate them? (Id., pp. 28-29).

‣ In old tales and legends, Little Red Riding Hood could po-
tentially also be a boy, eaten by the wolf and the wolf being
an old satyr. We know that little boys also have to fear the
satyrs. (Id., pp. 43-44).

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

The Sinful Child

‣ The Church has not little contributed to the assumption that
children are born in sin and that their vulnerability may at-
tract bad spirits. Did the Church not teach that even baptism
cannot erase original sin? The child thus is born with a clear
branding; it is branded with his disgrace, and his weakness.
It is not trusted, if it is not outright frowned upon. As he is
such, he must be remodeled, he has to be completely undone
and redone once again, in order to get out of the claws of
evil. (Id., p. 58)

The Prison of Modern Childhood

‣ Given this double enclosure – in the family and in the
school, the space conceded to town children today is to be-
come smaller and smaller. And what remains of it is locked
up, tagged and staked with prohibitions. (Id., p. 59).

‣ No more detours, no more meetings ‘on the way’. The mod-
ern mother picks up their children by driving to the school,
or they are transported in busses as one delivers registered
letters. (Id.)

‣ Modern society has modeled and destroyed more and more
the space where children can explore their bodies, and imag-
ine and know the risks of pleasures. The enclosure of chil-
dren reproduces hypocritely the concept of prison life. The
discretionary power with which people today restrict the
civilization of our small members is a racism of the uncon-
scious adult exercised in the meeting with the race of the
child. (Id., p. 63).

‣ It seems to me that all in society follows the example of
power. The wealthy burgers want to live in their small world
the prerogatives of the price. The workers want to live like
wealthy burgers. This is not class fight, it’s an idealized ex-
ample: power is idealized. (Id., p. 66).

Our Obsession with Safety and Overprotection

‣ We want safety for our children. Be it. But for what reason?
… If the price for safety is that there is no more imagination,
no more creativity, no more freedom, and while I believe that
safety is a primordial longing, we must not overdo it. Too

45
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

much of safety suffocates desire and the risk which is neces-
sary for feeling ‘alive’, and for questioning oneself. Adults
who are obsessed with safety to a point where they lose all
imagination, have they not been themselves children who, in
their first years, in their first weeks, have been gruesomely
lacking out on safety? (Id., p. 67).

‣ They punish, they scold, they beat the child sometimes right
at a moment where conversation would have been of the
greatest value. The next time he will put himself in this
situation, he will have exactly the same difficulty to avoid
the incident, because the risk was not cognized by him and
because one assumes that he is not able to ensure his own
safety. It is toxic to make a child down who has made a dan-
gerous experience, be it exposure to cold, to heat, or the risk
to get the flu. Same is true for hunger. The obligation to eat,
to sleep. Today, children do not know that they are hosted as
all other humans because they are overprotected and de-
prived of the opportunity to make their own experiences.
The result of all of this …? Children in modern society do
not grow any more in safety. (Id., p. 77).

‣ This is a paradoxical situation in a society that wants to in-
sure us against all risks for the result is that our children and
adolescents are more and more vulnerable because of their
being deprived, virtually on a daily basis, of valuable expe-
riences. (Id., pp. 77-78).

‣ One may ask oneself if depriving a child of ‘dangerous
games’ is not a method to after all incite children to lose their
joy of life, fall into depressions or search out danger deliber-
ately? All these norms that dictate children have to play safe
games lead at the end of the day to dispensing parents from
assuming their tutelary role at the side of the child. (Id., p.
81).

‣ All testimony boils down to this: the Xingu natives from
Amazonia never beat their children. One day a child put fire
at a house. The fire spread very fast and soon the whole vil-
lage was destroyed. The incendiary child is not beaten. He is
given the surname ‘fire captain’. And we to remind us of the
story of Cain and Abel. Cain murdered his brother Abel and
was declared by God to be responsible for the safety in the
towns. (Id., p. 82).

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

‣ It is a fact that we bestow upon children safety through the
impossibility to take risks, and it’s exactly by doing this that
we deprive children of safety. Safety given by parents and
which was not achieved without their assistance does not
provoke in the child a responsible attitude toward his or her
body: self-identity comes with the right to take the initiative,
and being compensated by responsibility for self-defense in
the service of the body’s integrity in all relationships with
others, since the earliest moments of childhood. (Id., p. 83).

‣ It seems that all modern technologies that are potentially
useful for children are actually used against children because
adults want to conserve their discretionary power over
them. They are themselves so infantilized that they in turn
infantilize their children. (Id., p. 83).

‣ It’s not any instruments society has developed that are dan-
gerous, it’s the attitude of adults to profit from these modali-
ties in order to intimidate children and exert a sadistic power
over them. These modern gadgets give us a good conscience
in that they create the illusion that children today are more
lucky than formerly, and that they enjoy more freedom and
autonomy. While what we have here is coercive education, a
narrow-minded education, which is the new plague of so-
called civilized societies. (Id.)

Genius and the Inner Child

‣ Picasso draws like a child, but a child that has acquired the
technical and instrumental mastery and perfection of the
adult artist, who is able to reproduce forms. (Id., p. 92).

The Value of Losing Illusions

‣ In Japan, the master imposes at 8-year old boys a very hard
challenge: in front of the entire class, he punishes a student
who is among the first in the class, for a mistake he has not
committed. ‘You have stolen money from my pocket’, or
‘You have cheated’. (Id., p. 92)

‣ After the punishment, he explains about his ‘judicial error’.
‘You must know that the best of masters, the best of fathers,
can be unjust. You must learn to endure the injustice of the
world while remaining a just man.’ It happened that the boy
who was submitted to the challenge became ill. This test has

47
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

two purposes: it teaches to not engage in idolatry, the cult of
a second father, or an unfailing hero. At a certain point in
life, one must lose one’s illusions, and learn to survive the
treason of one’s ideal, as well as affective deception. This
reminds of the humiliating techniques practiced by Indian
gurus toward their disciples. (Id., p. 94).

The Value of Subjectiveness

‣ Science doesn’t work in the service of the child. It serves the
established order, public instruction, police. Or it serves sci-
ence itself. Research for the sake of research. (Id., p. 95)

‣ The ‘child’ doesn’t exist … There is public discourse about
THE CHILD, while every child is absolutely not the same as
another, regarding their inner life, in the way they structure
themselves according to their feelings and according to the
particularities of the adults who bring them up. (Id., pp. 103-
104).

‣ It’s the time of the neurosciences. And their forceful arrival is
disquieting. In the perspective of this discipline all is aligned
with the development of intelligence, while it is affection
that gives meaning to human intelligence. Intelligence as
such does not exist. Physical health as a standalone thing
doesn’t exist. It’s always a complex system that construes a
person and makes for their uniqueness. (Id., p. 104).

‣ I wonder if finally, the post-Piaget period doesn’t risk to be
terrible intellectualizing. The neurosciences are putting a
much too strong focus on objectiveness, which goes against
all our efforts to emphasize the subjectiveness of everybody:
they would better get children interested in that instead of
focusing their interest too early upon standardized school
requirements. (Id., p. 105).

Questioning Cultural and Scientific Conditioning

‣ We have to fear that the present strong focus upon educa-
tional literature, encyclopedias and guide books invites cou-
ples of our time to adopt norms and rules, not to say miracle
recipes. That also is a manichean conditioning because edu-
cational systems are contradicting one another; young par-
ents are not instructed to modulate, to interpret and to listen
to their intuition: your child is born by you and as you are

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

yourself, be honest, and put your feelings in words for it’s
your sincerity that your child most needs. Our language
today has become purely conceptual, purely detached. It’s
perhaps simply the death of a civilization. (Id., pp. 112-113).

‣ Today, there is rather a regression to be made out in com-
parison with the 17th century, in that there are no more wet
nurses. All has become mechanical. Whoever is the nurse,
she has become mechanized in the sense that from about 2
1/2 months of the child, she is supposed to give the child a
meat bouillon; there is anonymity and neutralization in nu-
trition, in the name of Science. And Science considers the
child but as an animal for observation and not as a person
who’s got feelings; it doesn’t inquire into what a child ex-
presses. (Id., p. 114).

‣ Einstein, a retarded school boy, almost mute, daydreaming;
his parents loved him like that, without knowing that he was
intelligent, and accepting that he was unable to pass an
exam. He was the ‘poor little guy’ who will never be good
for anything. But it’s perhaps that, which has at the same
time stimulated his intelligence? Who knows? If Einstein
had been different, already recognized as a child prodigy, he
would never have become Einstein. (Id., p. 117).

About Computers and Videogames

‣ The media culture presents a certain positive aspect in that
these games are not directed by a human will that wants to
impose itself upon the sensibility of those who play the
games. Young people realize that their mind can be as sharp
as the mind of an adult. And yet the remainder of all of that
is nonetheless that affectivity is completely absent in these
games and the pleasure one can derive from them is a purely
intellectual pleasure; sensitivity is made the hero of the final
outcome: one is right or wrong. (Id., p. 118).

‣ Games that children liked were those they could identify
themselves with; when they were out of use, it was like one
lost a friend. The electronic game is not a friend, it’s an in-
strument. We have seen that already with the talking dolls,
the dolls that pissed (we don’t know why): more the func-
tions of a certain object are programmed, less the child can
love it because he cannot project an affective life upon it; it’s
a functional life, not an affective life. The doll that repeats,

49
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

upon request, to talk what is on the magnetic tape, is some-
thing non-human, repetitive, not like a human who pro-
duces sentiments and thoughts all day long. Much to the
contrary, those new games will accentuate animal behavior,
as a conditioned reflex, rather than enable a relational ex-
change. (Id., p. 120).

‣ However blind man’s buff, which is outside of modern mo-
res, was still a game for adults in the 18th century, as one can
see it on many prints … (Id., p. 120).

Thoughts on Masturbation

‣ Masturbation plays a very important role in the relations
between mother and child, father and child, as in man-
woman relations; there is an enormous amount of veiled
masturbation in the so-called love game; fornication in the
sense of letting go a certain focalized excitation is a form of
duo-masturbation. This relaxation that can be brought about
without using one’s hands, then is facilitated by an object in
between child and mother; for example we see little retarded
ones rendered retarded by pathological family relations, and
who can masturbate only by using a pillow, never by using
their hands. (Id., p. 128).

‣ Even if a child has not been ‘planned’ to come, and was not
wanted by his genitors, every being, by the very fact to be
born demonstrates that it was him who desired to be born.
And we need to welcome him in this way: ‘You have always
been born by an unconscious desire … and, so much the
more that you were not consciously wished and desired by
your parents, you are stronger because of your own desire.
When your parents made love, they were not aware that you
would be born as a result, it was a surprise for them, and it
shows that it was your own desire that got you to be here,
and that you made it through. It’s the child-desire: he
wished to be born, while his parents ignored it; he is always
desire, often love, ‘embodied’. Thus, every human being is
the incarnated verb (which is exactly what is said about Je-
sus Christ). Every human being deserves this very definition
at the moment of their conception. (Id., pp. 128-129).

‣ Children who were desired and planned to come, after a
long waiting time of their parents, do not have this strong
secret life force because they satisfy the desire of their par-

50
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

ents. It’s the surprise-child, the one that was not expected
who is the prototype of the richest human who lives from his
own vital dynamics, without anybody waiting for his com-
ing into the world. (Id., p. 129).

‣ Sometimes I think that original sin could possibly be that
humans have eaten their own children when they had no
animals to eat and were starving of hunger; so they might
have got the idea to eat their children … and today children
can feel they could eat their mothers, and being eaten by her.
(Id.)

‣ When the fear of death is overwhelming, children encounter
a resistance in the social group that becomes more and more
stringent. This is absurd and tragic because we know that we
are alive as a function of knowing that we will die. It’s the
very definition of life: this living creature is alive because it
will die; she is born, she develops herself, and she dies. It’s
thus by death that life is defined. And we are afraid of what
defines us as alive. (Id., p. 136).

‣ The fear to die, finally is the fear of living. (Id., p. 138).

‣ Whoever is devoted to listening to the answers of children is
a revolutionary spirit. The other so-called revolutions will
never change anything. (Id.)

‣ Creative space for seeking one’s own direction disappears
more and more. Any conduct that reflects initiative or
imagination is going to be blocked. ‘No, no, in this direction
you have to go … It’s like that … Do not search for your way
by yourself, it is here.’ (Id., p. 139).

‣ What is lacking in today’s education is the function of initia-
tion; the collective rite of passage. (Id., p. 145).

‣ Racism that opposes Blacks and Whites bleaches out under
other forms [of racism] in our old Europe: sexism, and adult-
child racism. (Id., p. 146).

‣ Whatever type of society we are in, and the kind of educa-
tion that is practiced, man always falls in the same trap
which is to confound guilt and responsibility. Ambivalent
language nourishes the confusion: What is natural is at the

51
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

same time pure and impure, the savage is good and danger-
ous. Knowledge brings victory and sin. (Id., p. 147)

‣ Psychoanalysis has an important role to play in a welfare
society and a world that, in the name of so-called science,
removed the sacred, which was the source of love and hope.
(Id.)

‣ The unconscious corresponds to the mystery of being, the
unknown, the unspeakable. We turn away from it as we flee
the sacred because we are afraid of it. It’s the unknown of a
reality out there, which is beyond reality. … In truth, illness
cannot be dissociated from an interaction of the soma with
the psyche, which results in an excessive biochemical waste,
which creates a momentary need for a trace element in the
metabolism. (Id.)

‣ Since centuries, the discourse about the child focuses much
more upon children’s immaturity than upon their potential,
their gifts and natural genius. The scientific course suffers
from the same bias. (Id., p. 150).

‣ It is precociously smart children, but not considered as such,
who are not known to be valid exchange partners who, be-
cause they are lacking involvement in language and are de-
prived of substantial and subtle sensory relations, sounds,
forms, words, music, toys, movements, that appear after a
few months as retarded, psychotic, autistic. Their symbolic
function – the language of the heart – has not been inte-
grated in their body-to-body relations which serve necessary
physical survival. (Id., p. 152).

‣ Laws, social inclusion, vaccination do all not prevent the
child in industrial society from the risk of alienation and
they do not take him out of his condition. He shares the infe-
riority of his age group. Despite himself, he belongs to a sub-
continent. (Id.)

‣ Despite appearances, the social condition of the child has
hardly changed since 4000 years (Sumer). When we talk
about the cause of the child, we are talking about illusions of
progress. (Id., p. 153).

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

‣ They talk a lot about him [the child], but to him, they don’t
talk. (Id., p. 155).

‣ When adults want to understand children, it’s most of the
time for dominating them. They should listen to them, and
more often than not they would find out that children have
the key in hands for love, hope and faith in life despite all
their suffering and social dramas inside the family or outside
of it; they share in the challenges of life, each child according
to their age and natural talents. (Id. p. 177).

‣ Truthful language has healing power but it is difficult to
practice for one has to accept oneself with humility, one goes
toward what is essential, without being proud. (Id., p. 183).

‣ This is the classical therapeutic work, perhaps even with
children who already talk, but only if the child himself wants
to be helped. For those who do not [yet] talk, I have found a
way of working with other than verbal means of expression,
but which are associated with language – drawings, model-
ing work, mimicked fantasies with objects (free play) be-
cause they help the child to relive their past in the transfer
relationship with the analyst. It’s this explanation of a reacti-
vated past of which the analytic work consists. (Id., p. 190).

‣ Literature can only be narcissistic because people write
books because they suffer from desires they cannot satisfy
and they satisfy them by writing down their fantasies. (Id.,
p. 196).

‣ The child has an intelligent understanding of truth, in any
case of sincere affective exchanges. If an adult aggresses a
child physically, it’s because he doesn’t meet the child on the
level of language; because he doesn’t consider the child as a
human being. If we disown our vegetative beingness, it’s
because our intellect and operational mode of living are in-
flated: one approaches a plant for cutting it, for embellishing
the garden, etc. … but this plant fears the gardener … how-
ever the gardener who doesn’t aggress the plant for his
pleasure, the plant won’t be afraid of. (Id., p. 201).

‣ Adults repress their inner child, while they take care of being
feared by children, so that they obey. This educational ethos
is wrong. It’s out to replicate a society for adults only, which
means a society that has got the inventive, creative, auda-

53
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

cious and poetic force of childhood amputated, thereby pre-
cluding its renewal. (Id., p. 202).

‣ We refuse to talk to our babies, and yet, when we look at
them we identify with our mothers when we were ourselves
babies. This is what parents spontaneously do; they identify
themselves with their parents while they identify themselves
with their baby. They have a narcissistic relationship with
themselves within an ‘imagined’ baby instead of having a
relationship with that baby, in reality. This relationship they
have with themselves, they objectify it in relations with an-
other adult to whom they talk about the child, without talk-
ing to the child. (Id., pp. 203-204).

‣ We are not born Cro-Magnon, with a virgin memory. Not at
all. All the memories of our parents, of our ancestors, are
within us. We are, in our beingness, the representatives of a
story, even if we ignore it, from which point we are going to
make our evolution. (Id., p. 206).

‣ We are cultivating fear which becomes the basis of educa-
tion. This anxiety is at the origin of a lot of disturbances to be
found with adolescents. (Id.)

‣ To reject another means to reject a part of oneself./216

The Nature of Desire

‣ When desire is always satisfied, it dies./226

Children, a Special Race?

‣ The rhythm of the child’s needs and desire is countered by
obsessional behavior of adults. One imposes upon the child
an arbitrary rhythm, one that opposes his own (…) Each
person’s own rhythm should count, and not one’s age. Just
as machines, children are programmed. /213

‣ We are to a point afraid of sexual exploitation of children by
perverts that adults are no more allowed to receive run-
away or homeless children. S.O.S. Children has been sup-
pressed by law. And yet these ‘lost dogs’ had a place to go et
where they could talk. The directors of such institutions may
have allowed to be seduced by youngsters, or may have se-

54
LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

duced them. And afterwards? It’s worse to be seduced by
one’s parent than by a person outside of the family./215-216

‣ It’s a wrong question because the psychic frontier between
childhood and adulthood is not determined. Who can say
that he or she is really adult?/228

‣ It’s a big fallacy to consider humans in their childhood as a
special race. To lock them up in a magic circle is to sterilize
them./230

The Inner Child

‣ Mankind, at their age of adulthood, is a strange species in
that they can’t evolve because of their fear of death and their
parallel instinctive fear of life. When there is fear of death,
people cling to their mere bodily nature. This fear and the
desire to preserve the body prevent people from living fully.
(…) It is only those few who, during their lifetime, won’t
silence their inner child that are going to create something
new and advance things, by their leaps, their discoveries,
their emotions that they bring toward society; these are go-
ing to open another window, and another door. But these
inventors, these innovators are isolated, they are marginal-
ized, and always threatened by psychosis. For the rest, you
can see it with your own eyes: there is a whole literature, a
whole discourse about genius and madness. Finally, society
has inscribed it in our subconscious mind, this idea of the
artist as well as the researcher being met with suspicion.
/202

‣ When one comes out of analysis, one establishes a link be-
tween the present ego and the inner child, both having the
right distance from one another./204

‣ There is more than a distance. One is no more interested in
oneself, neither the present ego nor the one of the past. This
was one of the major results of my analysis: my past was no
more of interest. It’s like photos: once in a while one thinks
back … of the family. But oneself … is dead./205

‣ It’s true that children are poets. Adults can be, too, but only
if they have kept their inner child alive./229

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Children Are Unafraid

‣ The child doesn’t try to find out about the future; he makes
the future, he creates it. He is not cautious. He makes no
economies. He toils according to his desire, assuming the
consequences. /232

‣ Children reveal in dramatic situations, in their familiarity
with death, and major drama that they possess a real hu-
manity. There is determination, power, and affirmed person-
ality to be found with children who suffer from leukemia.
The upcoming death that threatens their organism, the pres-
ence of danger not only show sublime lucidity in the face of
the illness, but also an astounding perception of life. It’s not
the illness that gives them this power. The illness only accen-
tuates it, reveals it, and this testifies for the potential that
every being has since their birth./233

‣ Here is the difference: the adult thinks; the child does not
think, he is./234

‣ How many children have chosen a name for the girl or boy
before their birth! Then the child is born, and they give him
another name. The first time their newborn cries and the first
time they look at him result in their foreseen name not corre-
sponding to that intimate and profound relationship for the
names come from the unconscious, from very far. The first
name of the child should be born from this touching encoun-
ter. Parents who give the premeditated name almost always
rob the child of their essential first relationship. And we
should tell parents: ‘Think of names, but wait for the baby’s
first cry. When you have seen him, in that very moment you
are going to realize that your child incites you to give to him
the name he likes to have, not the name of which you have
been dreaming, but the name of this boy or girl in their
unique reality./236-237

‣ Individuation proceeds by a slow structure-giving process
within the pleasure function of language, and the relations
the child maintains with parents and educators. The sub-
stance of these relations is first of all language, however lan-
guage mediated by mutual body touch and closeness./241

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

Mother-Child Telepathy

‣ Neuro-biologists smile or shrug their shoulders. They say: ‘I
do not believe in telepathy’./241

‣ But all mothers know they have a telepathic relationship
with their baby. Take a woman who is sound asleep. Suffices
that the baby moves around in his cradle in the next room,
and she will hear it, while there was no sound soever that
could have alerted her. That’s something fathers are amazed
about. Many pregnant mothers talk to their fetus as if he was
in the same room (after all, he is in the same room as he is in
her). They do not dare to talk about it but they do it often.
They are right./244

‣ In Bali, the birth of a child is marked by a sacred ritual which
magnifies the memory of uterine life. Just after the expul-
sion, the placenta, a little bit of blood and of amniotic liquid
are placed in an empty coconut, which will be held together
by palm fibers; this natal urn of a body is placed at the right
side of the house entry, the one of a girl is placed on the left
side of the portal. Then the umbilical chord is dried, envel-
oped in a bit of gaze, and conserved for the entire life of the
new member of the community. To be noted that the Incas,
too, conserved the umbilical chord./247

Pathologies Resulting from Precocious Nursery Placement

‣ It’s always at the same risk that a child is suddenly and pre-
ciously taken away from the mother, without mediations,
and placed in the so-called better world. The result is a pa-
thology that triggers a regression back to fetal life for the
non-individuated child who then remains an imaginary par-
tial object of an entity: in the nursery, he is part of a group of
babies, but he doesn’t know who he is: he is anonymous, an
object-being whose needs are going to be satisfied by the
nursery. His desire-being is all the time made down by the
constant change of persons who take care of him; these per-
sons cannot provide him with the smell, the voice and the
rhythm of his mother. He becomes apathetic and when his
mother picks him up in the evening, he doesn’t recognize
her, and he has forgotten who is is for her. If he has not
caught a cold, and has the nasal tube free, he can recognize
his mother by her smell. But if the mother urges him for
kisses, he has no time to recognize her and resents her as a
huge mouth who wants to eat him, like his own mouth who

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

was so eager to suck the bottles he got during the day. So
again, he remains a part of her, fusioned with her body. And
after that, every day again, he is lost the morning and eaten
up again in the evening, and this results in his final inability
for individuating himself. This is a pathology that is ram-
pant in our time and that creates so many mute children, and
so many psychomotor retarded ones. While they are physi-
cally well developed, they have no curiosity, nor any desire
to communicate, dependable but without love, without play-
ful inventiveness and conviviality./250

Welcoming the Newborn

‣ We are living in an epoch where many children are no more
welcomed, even symbolically, by society, and not even by
their father and mother./253

‣ Doctors reveal who they really are by their habitual use of
language: ‘I have given birth to three children this morning’.
Everybody was laughing when they hard that the doctor
had given birth to the children, instead of saying he had
helped these women to give birth! Slippery meaning? Worse,
it shows that not only the parturient woman, but also her
husband, and the child are subjected to the professional
authority of the doctor. /253

‣ You can see children who are on the brink of becoming sa-
dists, while they are called timid or well-raised; they are
anxious to a point they are smiling all the time; it’s a waxen
smile that tries to please, for they are to a point afraid of oth-
ers that they assume they’ll be aggressed if they do not look
content./253

Marginalized Uniqueness and Originality

‣ Originality is marginalized. All these children, with the
slightest infraction committed or the adult not understand-
ing them, they are going to be streamlined, or they are
classed among the delinquents or the psychopaths. When
they are small, they cannot adapt to a big group when they
leave their family. Even in a big family, they remain objects,
small, in a relatively big group. They need to be identified as
unique in their relationship with father and mother, it’s from
here that we have to start, using language, for helping them
to integrate as original beings into the group. When they are

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

deprived of such a relationship by messing up their affective
life and in order to impose an educational norm, they are fed
with a language of rape, and the language where the strong-
est win over the weakest – while such a language is a trans-
gression of human ethics, but as this fact is trivialized, it’s
permitted by morality. This means to allow a corrupt moral-
ity judge what is ‘normal’ in school, based upon perverse
and perverting educational principles. /257

‣ It is very interesting to observe what happens between chil-
dren during the school breaks, while nobody has ever done
it or doesn’t talk about it. (…) During the breaks, there is a
perversion in the natural relations between children which
can even go up to rites of cruelty. This is what they have
been taught since they were small./258

‣ Perverting education through excessive child protection,
which is a cult of the standard norm, the submission to the
fashion of the day, the imposition of a model that the parents
represent. Why do fathers and mothers cling to these buoys?
Is it because they are lost, these parents, if they do not step in
the footprints of a guide? They are full of anxiety. The more
anxious they are, the more they want to know in advance of
the future of their offspring. What experience shows is that
such an attitude dangerously enhances the probability of
children’s retardation./258

‣ Very often, this projection upon the child who is waited for
like a Messiah and that is crucified afterwards is the result of
the fact that adults have not continued to have friends
among their peers, for mutual support, for recreation and for
cultivating interests of their age./273

‣ Society has put guilt upon parents in telling them that they
have to be much more around their children; that they have
to take care much more of their children, etc. And I believe
this has given them a bad conscience, and they have tran-
spired more toxic anxiety upon their children, from that
moment. And instead of helping them to steer free of the
nest, they have put them still more family shackles./273

‣ With our without jesuits, our society is really the high school
of hypocrisy. It’s first of all the lie told in words; all words
are wrong. They say ‘You will get there by your own merit,
by your effort … ‘ … these are toxic stereotypes. We find

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

them in the soothing political debates. That’s perhaps the
latest perversion of educational language. Now we got mass
education./ 289-290

Guilt vs. Responsibility

‣ A sense of responsibility flows out naturally from the
awareness of genital maturity in our bodies. The sense of
responsibility is born unconsciously when a deliberate act
can have a direct impact upon future generations. From the
age of reason, at 8 or 9 years, every child can understand
that s/he is responsible in part or in total for how their be-
havior affects others. Education should help people, and
especially children to make a difference between guilt and
responsibility. The confusion is inevitable when children are
not brought up from early on to develop a critical mind and
an ethical sense of responsibility. These values are the result
of solidarity without which it is impossible to initiate those
who are younger in age or those who are needy./290-291

‣ The orphan is invisibly attached to the dead body of their
father when he was born, and this as long as this was not
clarified by talking to him. His silent mourning, his pain
must be recognized by somebody. The painful attachment
can be overcome when somebody talks to him, when this
attachment has been made communicable to others in a
symbolic manner./291-292

Theories of the Child’s Superior Capabilities

‣ According to Jean-Pierre Changeux, a neurobiologist from
Pasteur Institute, the brain of the newborn contains one
hundred times as many neurons as with an adult. This hy-
pothesis has to be seen together with the theory of Jacques
Mehler, from the Human Sciences Institute: ‘Intellectual de-
velopment is not an acquisition of new capabilities, but, in
the contrary, a loss of capabilities present at birth./293

‣ For Dr. Julien Cohen-Solal, ‘the affective and intellectual
developments are inextricably linked. Beyond the age of 8
months, the effects seem to be barely reversible in terms of
emotional behavior and beyond 24 months, in terms of intel-
lectual development. If the data that neurophysiology pro-
vides are correct, the most important day of life is the first,
then the second, and so on and so forth … /293

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

‣ Dr. Léon Kreisler, pediatrician, at the Second World Con-
gress of Infant Psychiatry (Cannes, 1983), has pointed out
that psychosomatic troubles of early age such as insomnia,
vomiting, colics, or diarrheas, which often occur not long
after birth, have their cause in the fact that the mental ex-
pression of the infant uses ‘the underground way of the or-
gans’. These troubles have three origins: chronic tactile dep-
rivation (affective void), excessive stimulation (overprotec-
tion), and interruptions with the care of the child. ‘Nothing
is definitive before adolescence arrives’, the believes. ‘These
troubles are reversible.’/293

Importance of Language 2

‣ We look at the pathology of the infant as if his failing body
was at the origin of his relational difficulties. It’s the very
contrary. It’s troubles in the relationship with the tutelary
adult, who is responsible for his care, that disrupt his physi-
cal growth. The affective realm is to a point dominant with
most humans that it modifies the biological behavior of a
child: appetite, digestion, motricity, skin tonus, all this de-
pends on the linguistic exchanges with the person who takes
care of the child. /293-294

‣ Children are at the source of knowledge. They are metaphy-
sicians. Beings who ask true questions. As researchers do.
They look for answers./303

‣ In all the literature on education, too much importance is
given to the relation between the child and the adult. The
history of adult-child relations has to be studied in great
depth./303

‣ What I wanted to do in the Green House is to mediate rela-
tionships of a child with other children, by father and
mother. This was always done in the kibbutzim. When the
child is still a baby, the mother comes to assist for at least one
meal per day, be it breakfast or dinner, until the child can eat
alone; at this moment, there is nobody who can reply the
mother; the person who with the baby supervises a little, but
has no power over the children: it’s mother and father who
initiate their child into social life./303

‣ The same could be transposed into the educational setting: if
teachers were formed to be mediators, the essential role of

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

school would be to help children relate to other children.
/307-308

‣ Father’s Day and Mother’s day could give the opportunity
to convey to children the sense of parenthood, to teach about
sexuality, about its final nature, procreation and the pleasure
of responsible physical union between two adults. True edu-
cation has the purpose to guide children from nature to cul-
ture; it is important that it clarifies the sense of the words
regarding the vocabulary of parenthood and notions of law,
the social code and marriage, natural legal parenthood./309

‣ If children had a lateral place to go, their school like a second
home, parents would feel better because their children
would not be constantly in their way. Especially now, where
there are only one or two children per couple, which are
often spaced in terms of their age and who need to have
children of their age around. The nuclear family is a snail
house, a trap that provokes neurosis. At any age humans
need social relations with those with whom they can share
the same interests./337

‣ It’s the middle class that is now reduced to familial maso-
chism which they consider as a [social] force. It’s really
masochistic in the sense that it suppresses their vitality,
while they naively believe it was for their best./338

‣ We should never impose anything upon children. My idea is
that we have only one way to help them: we must be authen-
tic ourselves, telling children when we do not know about
something, but that they have to learn for acquiring knowl-
edge; that we don’t make their future, but that they make it
themselves; giving them this role to take charge of their lives
exactly how they themselves want to do it./371

‣ When somebody wants to be seriously interested in the des-
tiny of children, he must pay attention especially to the
smallest ones. I believe that all the work needs to be done
with them before they reach the age of four, before they go to
school./372

‣ When we want to talk about the essential, about what can be
done in terms of prevention in order to avoid hurt, blockages
or skids, I believe it has to be done before the child reaches
the age of four./373

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LA CAUSE DES ENFANTS

‣ I have only one thing to tell to politicians: that the legislator
should take care most of those citizens that are between 0
and 6 years old./373

‣ One of my friends, the psychoanalyst and physician from
Chile, Arturo Prat, who has long lived on Easter Island
among the ancients, was dumbfounded about the visual
acuity, even at night, that maintain 80-year old elders. They
have told him the reason. Before the taking hold of American
or Western obstetrics on that island, it was tradition to ex-
pose a newborn to light only after the first month; the partu-
rition took place in a dark room with just enough light for
the midwife; after that, mother and child remain in a dark
room, in the back of the house, during one moon phase and
one month. The baptized name is given to the child in a rit-
ual that is to take place at the age of one month. The child
went out of the mother’s arms only after this time of obscu-
rity, at the moment of sunrise, and will be welcome by the
entire tribe, with mother, father … all around him or her.
/375

63
Chapter Three
Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie
Paris, Seuil, 1971

Review
Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie is truly a revealing book about
pediatrics from the perspective not of a general psychoana-
lyst, but from the pulpit of the one single genius who has
pioneered into establishing child psychoanalysis in human
psychoanalytical history.
Dolto’s academic and professional authority on child
psychoanalysis cannot be ignored, as abstruse or queer as
it may come over to the non-initiated reader. In this respect
a strict Freud follower, she promoted the knowledge about
child sexuality as a concise, hermetic, professional knowledge
that is not accessible to the lay person, subtly suggesting
people except psychoanalysts being ‘inadequate’ for un-
derstanding the very complexity of it, the very importance
of it, and the very political explosiveness of it.
And yet, many mistake Dolto’s position on child sexu-
ality as permissiveness, subtly suggesting that she was per-
missive to grant the child their pleasure; the truth is that
Dolto was not permissive at all! The word she most used in
her publications, and I can prove this statistically, is the
word castration!
Castration is a highly violent term that suggests the
cutting off of the male sexual organ or the infibulation of the

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PSYCHANALYSE ET PÉDIATRIE

female sexual organ, the latter often also being called clito-
ridectomy. While psychoanalysis of course claims to use a
mythical or metaphorical vocabulary, that is thus not to be
taken literally, this vocabulary becomes strangely real
when it goes to take a governmental measure that will af-
fect the long-term destiny of a child or a family. Then you
will see that this science of psychoanalysis actually exerts
much social power in that it can put people, not only adults,
but also children, in jail.

The children’s jails are cutely called ‘educational reha-
bilitation centers,’ but their regulating principles are the
same as those of jails for adults. With the difference only
that no constitutional principles have ever been applied for
children’s jails, contrary to jails for adults. And this shows,
more than anything else, the true attitude of Oedipal Cul-
ture toward children, as it shows the devil’s face of the so-
cial euphemism called child protection.

Françoise Dolto is very outspoken about the benefits of
masturbation but are we set in the world to masturbate, or
are we bound to learn who to copulate lovingly?

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Children are encouraged to develop the habit of mas-
turbation, instead of learning to make love with another
human, which is the real, and natural, form of loving sex-
ual embrace.
This child-rearing paradigm is problematic in my view,
as it really puts life upside down in the name of culture.
Françoise Dolto encourages professionals to take note
of the child’s sexuality in order to better serve the child,
but what is this service about down the road? To transform
loving children into egoistic masturbators and incestuously
fixated psychopaths? The functional organic troubles she
mentions in the quote are often the result of love prohibi-
tions, not prohibitions to masturbate, but prohibitions to
have real love relations outside of the family, and to have
the basic freedom to build such love relations in the first
place.

All those who study behavior problems, functional organic
troubles, the educators, the doctors in the true sense of the
term, must have notions about the role of libidinal life and
know that sexual education is the grain for the social adapta-
tion of the individual./63

It is of course true what in the following quote Dolto
says about the effects of prohibiting masturbation. But the
trick is that the reverse argumentation is not per se correct.
To allow masturbation does not mean to give the child real
freedom for love.

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PSYCHANALYSE ET PÉDIATRIE

This is the logic error here, and here is where society
cheats the child and argues from an irrational and mystical
position that is not factually verifiable.

To prohibit the child to masturbate and sexual curiosity
means to force the child to pay unnecessary attention to ac-
tivities and which normally, before puberty, are unconscious
or preconscious. (…) Developing consciousness prematurely
in an atmosphere of guilt does great harm to the develop-
ment of the child because it deprives the child of ways to use
their vital energies (libido) that is inherent in those sponta-
neous activities. Psychically healthy children who have mas-
tered the genital stage are toilet-trained, graceful in their
body and dexterous with their hands, they talk well, listen
and observe a lot, like to imitate what they see others doing,
ask questions and expect truthful answers, and when they
don't receive them, begin to make up magical explanations.
/66

The truth is that normal masturbation does not at all fatigue
the child, but appeases the phallic vital tension of which give
his erections ample evidence. Masturbation provides the
child with physiological and affective relaxation which does
not equal in intensity the orgasm of an adult as there is no
ejaculation (…). /70

Of course, it goes without saying that for those who are
against children being autoerotic, Dolto’s ideas about child
masturbation must sound truly revolutionary. But from the
background of the larger picture that I am trying to paint
here, masturbation, while many children need it just for
getting rid of their surplus bioenergetic charge, is not the
real thing what the child needs and asks for.

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

To repeat it, we are here to learn copulating, not mas-
turbating, and what children should learn instead of be-
coming proud masturbators is to become humble partners in
a real sexual embrace where set and setting are correct, that
is, when there is mutual respect, love, dignity, and accep-
tance.
But as this is according to Sig-
mund Freud against culture, psy-
choanalysts follow their master in
this greatest myth of all myths that
Freud created when erecting the
doctrine of the Oedipus Complex
into a cultural temple. It’s simply
not true what Freud said here. It
may be against our tradition to
eventually accept the child’s full sex-
ual freedom, but every culture can change, and only when it’s
in constant change, it’s alive.

A culture that never changes is a dead culture, and
thus a no-culture. In truth, what Freud ordained here as
some kind of cultural imperative was a command to up-
hold patriarchy, and so he was not that progressive child-
loving psychoanalyst that history has made out of him, but a
reactionary!
And the advice that Dolto gives to parents for the child
who is found to masturbate often is equally ambiguous,
and suspiciously on the line of Freud’s cultural reasoning.

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PSYCHANALYSE ET PÉDIATRIE

She argues such a child would have to be initiated. And
until here I agree. But she continues that such a child has to
be initiated into superior activities, which ‘require a higher
mental level than those usually reserved for children of
that age.’

[W]hen you see a child masturbating often, a child who is
normal, you can be certain it’s a gifted child that should be
initiated into superior activities, which require a higher men-
tal level than those usually reserved for children of that age.
But even more often, it’s a neurotic child for whom mastur-
bation has become an obsessional habit. Such a child must be
given treatment, not punishment. To intimidate the child, or
even prohibit masturbation will impair the development of
the child; in case the child obeys the prohibition he will be-
come dull and insensitive, and if he does not obey he will
become unstable, angry, undisciplined and revolted. Neither
of this is intended to be brought about by the adults who
react in those ways; but this is what adults are doing to chil-
dren, without knowing what they are doing./74

That means a child who is longing for stronger sexual
fulfillment than that of masturbation has to receive a boost
of their intellect.
That is really giving a child a pear who asks for an ap-
ple! This is how little princes are transformed into ugly
frogs, by our witch doctor psychoanalysis.

From this larger picture, the Freudian ‘revolution’ of
so-called infantile sexuality sounds like a bad joke, if it was
not a bad trick, and actually a big lie and a real enslavement
of the child in the name of a dead culture that knows only to

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

consume, but not to live and to love and respectfully em-
brace.
Of course, what Dolto reasons here about the devel-
opment of the rational mind is all true; it’s genitality that
brings about the objective mind. But our society is not a
group of genitally developed individuals, which is why it
is so deeply irrational and mystical, and so little responsi-
ble. Our society is one of anally fixated fabulators who are
caught in the trap of mysticism that they call, in their
madness, science or psychoanalysis.
What Dolto says in the following quotes is valid even
more for real genital cultures such as the Trobriand islands
where children learn to copulate from early age, and not,
as in our culture, to become virtuous masturbators and
pleasing night-cushions for their parents. But the differ-
ence is that they do not need the whole of the oedipal con-
struct, with its detour to arrive at genitality and hetero-
sexuality via homosexuality, simply because they give real
freedom to their children, and real sexuality, not an upside-
down version of it. And that is why the outcome is real
heterosexuality, and not, as in our culture, a sort of fake
heterosexuality.

It is only after the liquidation of the Oedipus that thought
can be put at the service of so-called altruistic sexuality,
which means that seeking narcissistic satisfactions must
have been overcome, without however invalidating those
satisfactions./54

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PSYCHANALYSE ET PÉDIATRIE

In the genital state, thought is characterized by common
sense, prudence, and objective observation. It's what we call
rational thought./54

My criticism of Dolto, as I was on good terms with her
and exchanged with her for a while, may sound strange
and exaggerated, but it is not in any way directed against
her personally. I am speaking here about the perversity of
the whole of psychoanalysis, the whole theater and comedy it
represents, the grotesque family scenarios it plans and puts
on stage, and the whole abstruse worldview it embodies.
What Dolto explains in the following quotes is cer-
tainly true, sadly true, as it exactly shows the shadow side
of the whole of the oedipal construct, and what it results in
when the boy does not make it to ‘liquidate his Oedipus’,
as psychoanalysts express it. And yes, the problem is more
stringent with boys than with girls, for reasons we do not
yet fully understand, but it has been argued by many that
men generally are psychically more fragile than women.

There are boys who stay lovingly fixated upon their mothers;
their behavior is characterized by the fact that they do not
attempt to ‘seduce’ any other woman. If the father is alive,
the two men are constantly disputing, for the fact that the
boy does not detach himself from his mother and searches
out other love and sex objects proves that the boy has not
liquidated—in a friendship of equality with his father—his
pre-oedipal homosexuality. He will therefore prepare for
getting ‘in trouble’ with his father through his difficult and
provocative behavior./88

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

When the father has left and the boy ‘dedicates himself’ to
his mother, this behavior can be accompanied by real social
sublimations, which are associated with the activities de-
rived from the repression of genital and procreative sexual-
ity, but this boy cannot behave sexually and affectively like
an adult. He suffers from inferiority feelings toward men
that he unconsciously identifies with his father; he can also
be a hyper-genital who is always avid to get new sex part-
ners toward whom he will never build real attachment, but
he will show impotent in relations with any woman he really
loves, because this is associated in his unconscious with the
tabooed incestuous object. /88-89

This is how the superego of the boy becomes very early rigid
(…); the reason for this is the necessity to repress the hetero-
sexual desire in the ‘maternal sphere’. /89

The fixation on a parent, especially the mother, beyond
the natural mother-infant symbiosis, and thus until the age
of 18 months, is pathological and it brings about a clear
reduction of intelligence because of the entanglement of
the vital energies of parent and child.
This is particularly true, as Dolto, points it out, in the
mother-son relation, and less in the father-daughter rela-
tion because the mother-matrix has naturally a greater at-
traction power for the child than the father-spermgiver.
When mothers do not encourage their children to de-
velop autonomy, they are on the best way to entangle their
children in a codependence where the parent is the winner
and the child the loser, and where the child, in most cases
without parent and child being really conscious of that,

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PSYCHANALYSE ET PÉDIATRIE

becomes the ersatz-mate for the parent. While this mating
is in most cases not sexual, the consequences of mother-son
codependence are devastating. I talk about emotional abuse in
cases where the parent has received clear signals from the
child for being granted more freedom and autonomy, but
does repeatedly not comply with this request, or even ac-
tively cuts down or prohibits love and erotic relations of
the child with persons outside of the family, whatever their
age.
Last not least, it doesn’t come as a surprise when Dolto
categorically judges perverse behavior and social delin-
quency as the result of a non-liquidated Oedipus Complex.

[P]erverse behavior or social delinquents, both are the result
of a non-liquidated Oedipus, or a not yet liquidated one.
/130

It is not surprising because it shows how devastating
the oedipal construct is, together with all the cultural weed
that has grown around it.
This insight, that is shared by most psychoanalysts and
psychiatrists is not the real bomb; the real bomb is the fact
that our society tolerates psychiatric nonsense that perverts our
children into potential violent perpetrators, using a construct
for the psychosexual growth of our children that is anti-
life, dysfunctional, dangerous and unnatural.
There must be an awakening one day, and perhaps a
movement is to be created that is similar to antipsychiatry
in that it clearly unveils the social utilitarianism of our cul-

75
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

ture’s child development paradigm because what it creates
is not psychic health and responsible citizens but public
insanity and a horde of silent anarchists who, while paying
lip service to order and morality, are in fact rapists because
they have never ever learnt to copulate and embrace an-
other in love when they were young and still open for sex-
ual learning.
It’s exactly this denial of real child sexuality in the form
of an active involvement of children in love relations out-
side of the family, that renders our culture false, morally
corrupt, violent and destructive. And what we get from the
pulpit of psychoanalysis here is but reject and denial, a
false, jovial and grinning permissiveness which is an out-
right betrayal of the child, together with cathedral lectures
from a blown-up patriarchal superego incarnated in the
psychoanalyst.

Quotes
‣ At the genital stage [of development] thought is character-
ized by common sense, prudence, and objective observation.
It’s rational thought./54

‣ If masturbation is seen by all, or if it’s done in secret, what is
important is that adults don’t oppose it, neither in principle
nor for the sake of incorrect principles, so that the child can
develop their affective nature. /71

‣ There are boys whose love wishes are fixated upon their
mother; their behavior is characterized by the fact that they
are not trying to ‘seduce’ any women. When their father is
still around, there will be constant disputes for the fact that
the boy could not detach himself from his mother means he
cannot be on an equal and friendly footing with his father,
for he has not sublimated his pre-oedipal homosexuality. He

76
PSYCHANALYSE ET PÉDIATRIE

is thus out to get constant ‘beatings’ by his father and his
obnoxious behavior is set to provoke exactly that. /74

‣ When the father is no more around and the boy ‘devotes’
himself to his mother, this behavior may well be accompa-
nied by social sublimations, as he has repressed all his geni-
tal drives, but such a boy cannot behave sexually and affec-
tively like an adult. He will be plagued by an inferiority
complex in relations with other men that he unconsciously
identifies with hi father; he can be hyper-genital, changing
partners constantly but he cannot attach himself to anybody
and he splits his attractions to women; those he idealizes and
really loves will never be touched sexually by him for he
unconsciously identifies them with his mother, the tabooed
object. (Thus he will be sexual only with women he doesn’t
love or that he even despises). /88-89

‣ This is why the Superego with boys becomes so rigid. (Note:
Here resides, as we shall see, a big difference to how women
are structured on the psychic level; this is the result of the
fact that the first love object of girls is of the same sex, but
this also brings difficulties: the latent female homosexuality).
Their first love object is of the opposite sex, thus in order to
develop their virility they need to repress their ‘phallic’ love
wishes as far as the mother’s ‘sphere’ is concerned. /89

‣ The attitude of sublimated homosexuality, not repressed
homosexuality, is one of sexual and social equality with
other people of the same sex, within or outside of the family.
This means a real friendship with one’s parents which is
based upon an objective esteem, as well as tenderness and
sympathy both toward oneself and toward others. /92

‣ Boys who do not liquidate their Oedipus Complex cannot
perceive their father objectively, as the person he really is,
with his faults and his qualities, for the love for their father
is poisoned with anxiety produced by their castrating super-
ego. /93

‣ When the Oedipus Complex is liquidated, the unconscious is
positively affected, and this can be seen in the fact that the
child can detach himself from his parents. This is not rebel-
lion against them, nor is it destructive emotionally in the
form of the ritual ‘burning’ the love object, but the libidinal
energies are no more directed toward the parents and thus

77
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

can be invested in persons outside of the family. This is a sort
of mourning that could be metaphorically expressed with
the death of the past, and the promise that lies in the present
and in the future of the person. /93-94

‣ Clinically speaking, this liquidation of the Oedipus Complex
is characterized by behavior in the family, in the social
framework, or in the school setting, that favors adaptation
and socialization and a ‘nervous’ condition that is normal,
constant, stable, free of anxiety as well as nightmares, and by
the complete disappearance of all sexual curiosity and soli-
tary sexual activity. The affective life of the boy is placed
outside of the family, and there will not be any marked con-
flicts with the father or the mother. /94

‣ The systematic prohibition of children’s daydreams of super-
power has the same castrating consequences as sexual muti-
lations. As long as the child needs these daydreams in order
to compensate for feelings of inferiority, the child can be
helped not by prohibiting this compensation, but by allow-
ing him or her to have daily little success experiences for this
will help the child to build a feeling of self-worth. /96

‣ Later, in all intellectual and social activities, the castration
complex enters the scene; the boy’s interest for learning is a
prolongation of his sexual curiosity and his ambition to be
on an equal footing with his father; however, as long as the
Oedipus Complex is not liquidated, both sexual curiosity
and competing with the father are mixed with feelings of
guilt and shame. /96

‣ Particularly in the school setting, you can see emotional in-
hibitions; a boy may not be able to fix his attention. For ex-
ample, maths may be felt as a real ordeal, for on the level of
the unconscious numbers are equated with ‘relationships’
(similitude, difference, superiority, equality, inferiority), and
orthography is associated with ‘observation,’ thanks to
which one ‘sees’ clear (…) in relationships between words.
/96-97

‣ With all children, masturbation is a ‘preoccupation,’ regard-
less of the fact that they may hide it or repress the ‘tempta-
tion.’ Their auto-eroticism and their affection locked in fam-
ily conflicts are symptomatic of neurosis. /98

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PSYCHANALYSE ET PÉDIATRIE

‣ We can say that during the oral or anal phases, the Ego is
neutral; as the child of that age is not yet able to see reality
objectively, they project upon their outward reality their own
inner emotions, their drives, their way to think and to rea-
son. They perceive adults as genitally undifferentiated as the
child doesn’t know as yet the morphological characteristics
of the sexes. /99-100

‣ During the phallic phase, the little girl discovers that she
doesn’t have that ‘thing’ that other children have. That’s
around three and a half years. /101

‣ Seldom little girls grow up without a period of exhibition-
ism, during which they love to strip themselves and show
their naked body to everyone who is a potential admirer. It’s
as if to be admired allows them to identify themselves with
those who look at them. When those admirers are not aston-
ished at their views, it’s because there is no ‘thing’ to see,
thus as the girl has ‘nothing’ to show, it’s her way to ‘deny
that she has nothing.’ /102

‣ A girl cannot detach herself from her phallic erotogenic zone
without a compensation. To abandon the masturbation of the
clitoris means for the girl to disinvest that interest and re-
place it by an interest in her face and her nude body. And it’s
here where we can clearly identify girl’s growing interest in
clothes, hair styles, crowns, flowers in the hair, and jewels,
for those are all compensations for their deliberate aban-
donment of their female phallus. /104

‣ The desire to please gives little girls a boost of their self-love
and allows them to renounce their phallic interest; at the
same time this development leads to a reconciliation with
the male sex. As a result, the little girl doesn’t find boys any
longer ‘evil’ as she has no longer the desire to castrate them
or let them castrate by her mother; her self-confidence in-
creases as she imagines that boys and fathers will fill her
with power. Thus, she begins to conquer them and that’s the
point where the girl enters the Oedipal phase, while there is
not yet any conflict. It’s because of the girl’s penis envy that
she feels attracted to males, and for captivating the attention
of those she considers as superior and attractive for her
mother. /104-105

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

‣ It’s important that the girl ‘mourns’ over the death of her
clitoris masturbation fantasies, and the phallic ambition that
parallels them, and that she finally accepts without bitter-
ness that she was not born as a boy. Otherwise, she might
repress, in accordance with her superego, her phallic sexual-
ity, but in such a case, she will suffer later on from painful
feelings of guilt and inferiority that will render it impossible
for her to even have one single moment of peace and inner
poise. /105

‣ Adolescents who have not liquidated their Oedipus Com-
plex, but have repressed it because of their [superego’s] cas-
tration complex, will suffer from latent homosexual desires
on the level of the unconscious. /128

80
Chapter Four
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 1
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants
Tome 1, Paris, Seuil, 1982

I discuss a few topics from this volume, as it’s simply
too much for a book review, so much the more as the audi-
ence is professionals and some of the subjects are not intel-
ligible for lay readers without concise notions of Freudian
psychoanalysis.
The first topic of general interest that I have chosen for
this review is the fact that in our Western society, children
are trained for the most part only intellectually, while their
feelings, emotions and their sexual longings are simply
denied, or treated as if they did not exist. It’s as if the child
consisted only of a left brain hemisphere, and no body.
Our education addresses the child as a thinker, not the
child as a feeling being, and thereby breeds the fragmented
child, not the whole child. It’s a sick education, to be true,
that is highly fragmented and that is bestowed upon chil-
dren, for the most part, by persons who have besides a di-
ploma in pedagogy nothing in their brain and hearts that
really is conducive to giving children an appropriate edu-
cation.
And what is most lacking in them is desire, the desire
for children, which is an erotic desire! Those, namely, who
are conscious of it, feel guilty about it and will never ever
mention it to anybody because they are afraid of being
fired the next day! This is how it is in our child prisons that
we call schools and where not even human rights have
SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 1

been declared while they are applied in prisons for adults!
And the part of the child that is least ever considered is
what they call in the United States the private parts, the ‘be-
low the belt,’ thus dividing the child even more, fragment-
ing that person even more cruelly and pathologically, in an
official part, which is from the belt up, and an unofficial
private part, below the belt. The true meaning of the latter
is that it’s the animal part.

This is how our official body of certified stupidity con-
siders the child, and education, and that’s why it does by
no means ever educate, but pervert healthy children into un-
healthy citizens. Boosting the child intellectually as it’s done
today in modern school is a form of child abuse and it will
bring about dangerous humans, it will bring about the
most dangerous humans ever being born and raised in this
world! Françoise Dolto writes in a similar mood:

I have always said that it is dangerous to transform a child
into a huge brain who has the verbal genius of a parrot. This
intelligence is purely digestive because in school, only oral
and anal capacities are being asked for. A child who enters
school without having acquired the genital and oedipal stage
will invariably remain infantile on the affective level. Some
will even turn into psychotics. But in case they succeed in
class, their psychosis will manifest during puberty, because
they will live their puberty on a pre-oedipal developmental
level, as they have not acquired their true sexual identity. At
this point, some become autistic, or develop what is called
precocious dementia, or they are driven by anal aggressive-
ness against their own body. They may be racketed, then, by
others because they project their own sexuality into others,

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

for the sole reason that they have never taken responsibility
for their own sexual longings. Until then, they were good
students and suddenly, their performance in class dramati-
cally drops. But it may also be that they continue to be bril-
liant, especially those gifted for mathematics, as they de-
velop only a logical intelligence, which means an anal intel-
ligence that is always binary. True, false, true. But the genital
is never true/false: affection is beyond true/false judgments
as it’s always true in a sense and false in another sense. What
is important here is that imagination can be lived and be
projected into activities that allow the anal and oral drives to
be put at the service of culture. It’s in culture that what is
repressed can be expressed. All partial pleasure sensations of
seeing, listening, touching and playing, and being smart and
graceful physically are very important for a child who starts
schooling. It’s for this reason that I think it’s very important
to focus on musical education, dance, and the arts in school,
rather than dressing up intellectual knowledge. By the same
token, it’s for this reason that grace is such a big concern in
the lives of adolescents, just look at them on their rolling
skates. I think this is more important than school for most
children: this kind of activities keeps them from becoming
heads without bodies. /88-89

The other topic I find is important and that is put in the
seminar in very clear terms that also a lay reader can un-
derstand, is the question how children constitute themselves
sexually, in relation to adults, and more particularly, in rela-
tion to their parents and teachers. This is most of the time
only discussed under the header of the so-called Oedipus
Complex, but the question is much broader than that. Per-

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SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 1

haps I have to explain what the questioner means here, as
this may not be obvious to lay readers.
The question targets elucidating the genital love trans-
fer of the child toward their parents; this erotic transfer or
desire manifests namely also in the child-teacher relation,
as this relation is a natural prolongation of the tutelary re-
lation. To repeat it, Dolto has emphasized in my interview
with her in 1986 that she is very much in favor of children
projecting their incestuous wishes upon their teachers be-
cause that would help avoiding problems with emotional
or sexual incest within the family. Thus teachers, in Dolto’s
view have to be fully conscious of the erotic transfer children
make upon them, and thereby become something like light-
ning catchers for the love spears children constantly send
out as a matter of their sexual growing-up.
The questioner here seems doubt if the latter is permit-
ted by psychoanalysis, and seems to think that when psy-
choanalysts speak about the Oedipal phase, only the child’s
relation with their parents is meant, not the child’s erotic
transfer on their teachers of the same sex, or the opposite
sex. Dolto corrects the view in emphasizing that child-
teacher relations are of the utmost importance, as they are
the basis of the insertion of the child within the culture.

Q. Why do many French parents never care about the per-
formance of their children in school? How can these children
constitute themselves?

A. Children constitute themselves regularly in homosexual
relationships. Archaic drives continue to be heterosexual or

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

homosexual, with the father or with the mother depending
on the sex of the child, but the genital drives are lived only
with teachers because only with them the child can bring
about a fruit within a relationship of culture and knowledge.
/98

86
Chapter Five
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 2
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants
Tome 2, Paris, Seuil, 1985

In this second volume of Dolto’s workshop on child
psychoanalysis, she tackles a very important issue: the role
of the psychoanalyst in child therapy, and she does that by
elucidating the truth about what Freud called the Oedipus
Complex.
There is namely a professional misconception in Freu-
dian circles that assumes all children and their parents had in-
cestuous wishes, or were fixated in an incestuous or pseudo-
incestuous manner. The truth is of course, that this is only
the case for children who are neurotic, while I admit that in
Western culture, a large part of the populace simply is neu-
rotic because otherwise we wouldn’t practice as a society
such a perverse overprotection of children, with all the co-
dependence, narcissism and emotional abuse that results
from this pathological situation.
As one could misunderstand my writings on the mat-
ter, not only those of Freud and Dolto, let me say this here.
I do not believe that incestuous wishes are natural in
the sense that they automatically arise in a family, only be-
cause people live together and are close to each other. They
arise because of specific pathogenic factors that are built in
the modern nuclear family situation, and the fact that chil-
dren are overprotected and turned into emotional and sexual
cripples by our society’s denial to grant children all the
emotional and sexual freedom that is their birthright!

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SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 2

Thus, what Dolto says in the workshop to the exclu-
sively professional audience is important, for it clarifies
that psychoanalysis does not believe all parents and children
were by nature incestuous, but that incestuous wishes are the
result of neurosis and the resulting codependence between
parents and children.

You as psychoanalysts have to deal, in your daily practice,
with neurotic children. Of course, neurotic children are in-
cestuously fixated, because the very etiology of neurosis, as
we know since Freud, is sexual. So, with this bias in your
mind, you wrongly assume that the same was true for the
healthy child. /21

Part of the sensual mutilation of the child regards the olfac-
tive sense. Under the header Sensuality and the Code, this
important issue was discussed, and the audience already
had knowledge about the fact that from about the middle of
the 17th century, there was really a break in the continuity of
child education, as I have pointed it out in various publica-
tions, as from that time in history, the child began to be re-
garded as a potential consumer, and hence was more and
more deprived of sensual, tactile and emotional pleasures
and satisfactions. Dolto is very outspoken on the issue of
sensuality, and children’s need of being educated sensually,
or at least in a way that safeguards their natural sensuality,
contrary to what is done today in most schools and house-
holds in the West. In addition, this cultural deprivation has
led to our Code being messed up.

Q. In occidental civilizations, for example, the olfactive sense
is very little valued; it was, I think, valued till the 17th cen-

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

tury—but this is a communication that today is cut between
adult and child.

A. It’s a repressed communication; because we adults have
repressed the individuating nature of our individual odor,
except in intimate erotic relations, about which we don’t
talk. /71

The following passage makes it clear that the topic of
the seminar was not just olfactive deprivation but gener-
ally all forms of sensual deprivation modern city children
are suffering from.

Yes, it’s no more inscribed in the verbal communication
code. Unfortunately children are no more educated for olfac-
tive discrimination. And except of the four fundamental col-
ors, they receive no education either anymore for recogniz-
ing the many tones of each color, and their combinations. It’s
the same with the intelligence of touch, and our auditory
faculties. Children are initiated too late to music, if not never.
This is why the sensual communication code is faulty or
completely absent. /72

The next topic of this workshop was the nature of
sexuality when it has remained homosexually fixated, and
Dolto explains why and how the desire to rape in men is
coming up through a fixation on early pre-oedipal partial
drives. This fact, that modern civilization tries to wipe un-
der the carpet by putting up numerous projections, as if
only so-called ‘rapists’ had rape desires, is something we have
to face in dialogue. It’s through talking desire, as Dolto
called it, that we humanize our most asocial desires.

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SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 2

What Dolto explains here, is that when left alone with
their furtive observations of parental coitus and all the rest
of sexual behavior which is not elucidated in most modern
families, children will develop a mythic view of the matter,
a view that is imprinted on the feeling level and that is highly
influenced by archetypal images, such as the rut, and ritual
fornication, or fornication for humiliating another.
Children who grow up with such a confused view of
sexuality, and when guilt and shame are added on to the
complex soup of feelings, will invariably have rape desires
later on in life. I am talking about men, as Dolto here only
talks about men, and I am talking about men because I do
not have any professional experience with female sexual-
ity, and have no idea if women can have rape desires.
(I suppose that with women rape desires are passive,
so to speak, and thus desires to ‘being raped.’)
Applying the psychoanalytical framework, the nowa-
days frequent discussions in the media about women who
say they want to be raped, either by their husbands, and
even other men, do not reflect the natural condition of female
sexuality! Women who have these desires would thus have
to be qualified as being stuck in their Electra Complex, and
they do not reflect the lot of natural and healthy women.

Thus, I tend to believe that it is not natural for women
to wanting to being raped, as I believe these desires are a
consequence of women’s disempowerment in our patriar-
chal society, and that women who have developed their
full soul power do not have such desires. Dr. Dolto writes:

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Potentially, the desire to rape in men is created during the
time when the father is admired as the urethral-phallic
agent, independently of the loving words he may say to the
mother. It’s a desire of controlling the other, of going into the
other. Why not? For a boy, it’s beautiful to see that; for a girl
it’s at the same time horrifying; but this scene is in no way
an initiation to genitality. It’s like a respectable fornication.
Many children foster about the primal scene a fantasy of a
spectacular and perfect copulation, with the representation
of a patriarch who has all the rights. If you don’t tell the
child that fornication is not love between humans, or if you
tell them to shut up when they have witnessed sexual inter-
course, as if the child had done something wrong, you in-
hibit the child from passing into the Oedipus. It’s exactly in
that case that a desire to murder the father comes up in the
child. No child can admit that their father behaves like an
animal fucking down their mother; a being of language can-
not admit to have been born of an act that neither the father
nor the mother could possibly describe as something beauti-
ful and human. /136-137

The next important topic I picked out for this review
are the effects of incest, and Dolto has a view here that ex-
ceeds in clarity and comprehensiveness all I have read and
studied on the matter. Dolto sees incest as a physical meta-
phor for fusion, and looks at it from the perspective of the
small child, with the parent who is most present of both.
Such fusion, that I came to call codependence, as this
term is more common in the English-speaking world, is in
Dolto’s view a hindrance to growth, as it slows down the
dynamics of psychic and psychosexual development for
the child.
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SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 2

What is original in her view is that she sees such fusion
as a sort of duo-autism, a shared pathology of isolationism
that in real life segregates the incestuous parent and their
sexual child mate and encloses them in a web of feeling all
on their own, and that can’t be shared with anybody – for
obvious reasons.
What is less original in her view is that like Freud, she
believes that sexual incest between direct-line relatives as a
denial of culture, and even an acting against culture. And I
think that this view cannot be considered universal as this
is really a matter of culture, of what kind of culture we’re
in, as not all cultures share this view; the so-called ‘univer-
sality of the incest taboo,’ that is typically forwarded by
psychoanalysts is of the same ideological vintage; it is
simply a myth, as cultures have very different views on the
matter, and different epochs as well. This is actually true
not only for incest but also for adult-child sexuality outside
of the family, the so-called ‘pedophilia’ question.

My research revealed that there cannot possibly be a
greater variety in human conduct than what I found to be
the kaleidoscope of adult-child sexual pleasure over time.
For all, really all, has been shown to be possible, within
human culture, in this respect, from tender erotic love be-
tween loving partners of different age over the forbidden
teacher-pupil sexual loves to the most violent and atro-
cious rape of small girls by huge male animals, as the Ro-
mans organized it, for amusement, during their games.

93
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Thus, to speak of ‘culture’ as a terminologically defined
and fixated item in the sense of something like a unified
concept is quite manipulative, and I have to reproach it to
many psychoanalysts, including Dolto. There is no culture
for all, as something like a unified human experience; there
are only cultures, with an ‘s’ at the end. Hence, incest can-
not be against that mythic notion of culture as that concept of
culture is a rhetorical misnomer that does not exist in real
life.
The reasons why incest is forbidden in our culture, and
quite a number of others, are clearly economical.
In old Egypt, for the Pharaonic caste, incest in direct
line was the rule, and the Pharaoh was supposed and even
obliged to marry either his sister or his daughter, and no-
body else. And this, too, had economical reasons, and had
nothing to do with so-called morality. A psychoanalyst is
only half-baked when he or she doesn’t see that and re-
mains stuck, just like a lay person, in the lies and fairy tales
of so-called public morality which is after all but an exten-
sion of the police state’s stronghold over the individual,
and not a matter that serves cognition or the advancement
of science or psychology. So, frankly, I consider both argu-
ments, the one that says incest is immoral and the one that
says incest is a-cultural, of a purely mythological order.
To end this long interlude, we are back at Dolto’s quite
original stance on the matter when she says that incest should
be talked, in the same way that desire should be talked. This
is frankly the sparkle of genius I have received from Dolto,

94
SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 2

through our meeting and subsequent letter exchanges, in
that it is from this idea that I later developed my approach
to coaching people for their sexual disturbances. As it is
the Life Authoring techniques that I mainly use in this new
form of consulting, it can be grossly described as helping
pedophiles talk their desire, so that they get into a fruitful
inner dialogue with their inner controller, their inner child
and their inner parent and adult. Françoise Dolto writes:

In addition, I think that the desire to fusion sexually with the
adult who is all-present since birth lets the small child return
to its source; this slows down the dynamics. To accomplish
the incestuous desire would bring about something like a
duo-autism between the fusioned individuals. For a slow-
down is brought about when the one who was the model for
growing was genitally possessed. Freud has correctly de-
scribed, in Totem and Taboo, what was prior to language;
but it’s language that allows something like a talked incest.
The desire can be talked, it can be distilled into cultural
group fantasies, but it cannot be realized in a corps-à-corps
relation without having destructive effects on the level of the
culture. /137-138.

The next topic is of equal importance. How does the
child identify erotically with their teachers, and what is the
significance of this erotic transfer?
The matter was already tackled in the first volume of
the workshop transcripts. To repeat it, Dolto states that the
homosexual love transfer between teachers and their same-
sex pupils serves the culture in that it develops the pregeni-
tal drives that play a role throughout life in all that regards

95
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

anal achievements such as work performance, promotions, ambi-
tion, which are after all the ingredients of social success.
In our exchanges, Dolto emphasized the need for chil-
dren to project their incestuous wishes on their teachers,
and qualified it as is something positive as it contributes to
healing both their cultural and personal neurosis.
And Dolto saw this need to be existent in children as
early as in kindergarten; hence my idea that emotional aware-
ness should be taught to teachers at all levels of the educa-
tional chain, from kindergarten teachers to high-school
teachers. This special form of emotional self-awareness ren-
ders teachers aware of their bioenergetic flow processes
involved in the love transfer from and to children they are
around every day.
This form of vocational training will help teachers sub-
limate their repressed incestuous desires that they uncon-
scious project upon children in the form of pedophile love
wishes, and render them fully conscious. If this inner work
is not done, and if these unconscious pedophile desires get
sexualized, there is a danger that the teacher will either act
out or repress the desire, which will drive him or her to
manipulating children emotionally, or develop one or the
other form of sadistic behavior.

When these emotional longings are rendered fully con-
scious, they lose their subconscious dynamics and can be
tamed and thus be put at service of cultural achievements.

All primary school education is accomplished with the oral
and anal drives. Learning stuff, choking down and writing
96
SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 2

memos of what has been choked. Everybody knows that. All
students are constipated before an exam; in the last moment,
they run to the toilet, the belly full to explode, and extirpate
what is to be given to the phallic and all-powerful teacher
who will whip those who do not not satisfy his expectations
(Laughter). There is always a spur of anxiety in all learning,
in all choking down: these are not true sublimations because
they are not genitalized. These pre-genital drives continue to
play a certain role during the whole of life, but first of all in
situations when one feels anxious to not being chosen for a
promotion. /138

The last topic of the workshop that I have chosen for
this review is of equal importance as it regards the psycho-
analytic treatment of psychotic children.
This is important not only because it’s a problem that is
on the rise today, but mainly because Françoise Dolto is the
single most successful child therapist worldwide who was
able to completely cure psychotic children; in fact, this feat
was considered as absolutely impossible before her lifetime.
Not only was psychosis considered in psychiatry as a neu-
rophysiological defect, but it was also regarded by those
who were in favor of the psychogenetic theory as a psychic
illness that could never be cured.
Françoise Dolto applied simple methods of psychoanalytic
treatment with no sophisticated twists and turns to bring
about the healing results, and in her own words, the heal-
ing occurred, to her own amazement, subsequent to little
naps she had taken when being together with these child
patients; in fact, she used to say that psychotic children put

97
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

their therapist to sleep, and that during her little naps, the
necessary psychic transfer had been effected, in a most natu-
ral manner, that was the trigger for the psychotic children’s
learning the language and behavior code of our culture.
For, to make it all clear, today we know that psychosis
is nothing but this: a handicap around learning and accep-
tance of the social code, which is somehow messed up with
these children through distorted communications with tu-
telary adults, early in childhood.
In this passage, Dolto gives the participating child psy-
choanalysts precise instructions about how to deal in ther-
apy with psychotic children. And with this quote I come to
an end of this review of some of the most important books
by Françoise Dolto and I sincerely hope that I was able to
open a door here for the Anglo-Saxon reader, as I know
that for reasons that have nothing to do with language, but
for more subtle reasons, Dolto is as good as unknown in the
Anglo-Saxon world, even in the circles of highly intelligent
and educated people.

When you meet a psychotic child, you must recognize the
modalities of the child’s handling their body; how do they
eat, sleep, and who is cleaning the child. It's also important
to not deprive the tutelary person of mediations between
their body and the child’s body. When the child, for exam-
ple, needs something, when they are hungry, because they
don’t know their body, the parent must give them to eat with
their own (the child’s) hand, never directly with the parent’s
hand. The same is valid for washing and cleaning the child.
Otherwise you don’t even need to start the treatment: you as

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SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 2

psychoanalysts do not know whom you are treating because
you are facing a body that is continued by another body; this
means that somebody who is not individuated, their parents
will not be either. In those cases, the child is a part of their
body, and their desire. They have not established with the
child a mediation using the child’s hand as the intermediary
agent, which is with humans what is needed for meeting our
needs. This is all the difficulty of child psychoanalysis. You
can’t do the cure of a child if the parents send you only a
part of their body, that they have not separated in satisfying
the body’s needs. It’s in this case why the treatment must be
done in front of the parents, until the moment when the
separation between parent and child has been accomplished.
From this moment, you can address the child himself or her-
self, emphasizing that they have to use their own body limbs
for satisfying their needs, while the parents’ bodies and their
hands will come to touch the child only for safety reasons.
The parents do not need to have their child glued to their
bodies like a parasite. And here the question comes up: why
do we experience such a high rate of child psychosis today?
Is it not due to precisely the itinerary rupture, or rather the
absence of structure due to lacking corps-à-corps with the
mother? For the child today belongs to what we can call the
second generation of bottle children. When a mother who
was herself raised as a bottle child (not breastfed by her
mother), has her own child, the code of the corps-à-corps
with the mother is lacking, which normally gives a structur-
ing security (as the mother represents equally the father for
the child, mother and father are thus confounded in the fu-
sional relation of the child who is breastfed). Formerly, a
child could re-enter this fusional state of being as often as
they wanted to. When the child was carried and breastfed by
the mother, the vibrations of the mother’s voice penetrated

99
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

until the child’s stomach. For when a mother talks to her
baby when she breastfeeds the child, the vibrations of her
voice will certainly be transmitted by the hot milk, which
penetrates the child’s body and inscribes in their body the
language code of love. This is what misses in our days with
babies who are just in the crèche, that are not carried often;
formerly the child was taken up all three hours for breast-
feeding. / 148-149

100
Chapter Six
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, Tome 3
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants
Tome 3, Paris, Seuil, 1988

There is so much hard stuff in this 3rd workshop on
child psychoanalysis that I can’t put it in a book review, so
much the more as translating the language of psychoana-
lysts always bears a danger of error. So I have chosen just
one passage that not only is very clear and unambiguous,
but also important enough to be reviewed here.
It is very important because there are, especially in the
Anglo-Saxon world, many psychoanalysts Dolto is refer-
ring to in this statement. I also know she had in mind, inter
alia, the Swiss psychoanalyst Alice Miller. I know this be-
cause in my interview with Dolto, in 1986 in Paris, we had
discussed the matter, as I asked Dolto explicitly about the
strange opinions of Alice Miller to blame parents, educa-
tors or other adults guilty of having erotic feelings for
children, as if these feelings were the most murderous things in
the world, and as if the child was a dead puppet and had no
feelings and desires of their own.
And Dolto told me that Alice Miller’s views were not
‘psychoanalytic’ in the Freudian sense, which means they
represent non-professional opinions, or a personal bias, the
result of her basic denial to face and acknowledge the hu-
man child’s natural sexuality. In our letter exchange, then,
Dr. Dolto focused on this topic and wrote me several let-
ters in which she explained why and how Alice Miller’s
position is not in accordance with psychoanalytic teaching.

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SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 1

It is possible that my question, and our subsequent cor-
respondence triggered with Françoise Dolto a process of
reflection on this particular topic, to bring this subject up
two years later in her last workshop on child psychoanaly-
sis, which were, by the way, not open for the lay public,
but only for graduated child psychoanalysts. And I think
there is really a good reason for that, as in the Anglo-Saxon
world and literature Alice Miller is very famed and well-
known while Françoise Dolto is as good as unknown.
And what neither Dolto nor myself knew at the time, I
got to know through further research, that Miller namely
partnered with another psychoanalyst and childhood re-
searcher—Lloyd deMause—who persistently in his books
denies the fact of the child being sexual. Both then were
sworn into the rings of the international child protection
movement, a fascist neoliberal conglomerate of business
tycoons and cunning marketeers who have found out how
sensitive modern society is to this topic, and how willing
people are today to put down all and everything in front of
this agenda, including their most cherished civil rights.
That great minds such as Alice Miller and Lloyd de-
Mause could be to this point infantile and irresponsible in
their taking sides with this neoconservative league shows
how powerful this movement is today and how it blind-
folds not just the masses, but even leading intellectuals
into an agenda that will be the foreplay to WW3, and in-
ternational fascism and tyranny!

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FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

I leave it over to the reader to go through this passage,
as I think it speaks for itself, and I can thus spare any fur-
ther comment.

Q. But there is also the child’s narcissism as partial object of
their mother.

A. Of course. There are in fact psychoanalysts who speak
only about the parents’ erotic attraction toward their child,
as if the child did not have a desire.

This is completely wrong!

According to these psychoanalysts, the desire of parents for
their child is of a more or less overwhelming nature. There
are in fact cases where the child is completely trapped by the
paraphilic desire of adults. But the child is not a partial ob-
ject. He is affected, ‘aspected,’ if I may say so, by the parents
whose color he takes, but he himself has a developmental
program inscribed in his corporal scheme; even if the par-
ents do not authorize that his body image organizes itself in
relation to them. I defend this mordicus, and the head under
the butcher’s knife. (Laughter)

With this construction, don’t you think so, that says children
were only the receivers, sponges or ‘suggestion-receivers’ of
their parents’ desire, we are no more scientific but really
within the realm of magic.

A human being is born because of their own mission coded
in their body image as a member of their species, they have
specific needs, and inevitably genital longings, but these long-
ings can manifest only from the moment body coordination
is sufficiently developed to manifest them: that means motor
development must be put at the service of the genital needs.

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SÉMINAIRE DE PSYCHANALYSE D’ENFANTS, TOME 1

And this will not be before the child is three and a half years,
four years old.

It begins, do you know, with exhibitionism. All small chil-
dren, once they acquire motricity, show their genitals. They
would even do it when raised as the only child because this
need is simply there since they were small; to look at oneself
and others becomes an important pole of interest, because
the motor desires will thus serve the genital desires of the
child.

A child has desires all the way through their human evo-
lution, and these are not just the desires of their parents. /27-
28 (Emphasis mine).

105
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Contextual Bibliography

Abrams, Jeremiah (Ed.)
Reclaiming the Inner Child
New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1990

Alston, John P. / Tucker, Francis
The Myth of Sexual Permissiveness
The Journal of Sex Research, 9/1 (1973)

Appleton, Matthew
A Free Range Childhood
Self-Regulation at Summerhill School
Foundation for Educational Renewal, 2000

Ariès, Philippe
L’enfant et la famille sous l’Ancien Régime
Paris, Seuil, 1975
Centuries of Childhood
New York: Vintage Books, 1962

Bachelard, Gaston
The Poetics of Reverie
Translated by Daniel Russell
Boston: Beacon Press, 1971
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Bagley, Christopher
Child Abusers
Research and Treatment
New York: Universal Publishers, 2003

Barbaree, Howard E. & Marshall, William L. (Eds.)
The Juvenile Sex Offender
Second Edition
New York: Guilford Press, 2008

Bender Lauretta & Blau, Abram
The Reaction of Children to Sexual Relations with Adults
American J. Orthopsychiatry 7 (1937), 500-518

Bettelheim, Bruno
A Good Enough Parent
New York: A. Knopf, 1987

Brant & Tisza
The Sexually Misused Child
American J. Orthopsychiatry, 47(1)(1977)

Bullough & Bullough (Eds.)
Human Sexuality
An Encyclopedia
New York: Garland Publishing, 1994
Sin, Sickness and Sanity
A History of Sexual Attitudes
New York: New American Library, 1977

Burgess, Ann Wolbert
Child Pornography and Sex Rings
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Cain, Chelsea & Moon Unit Zappa
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108
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Calderone & Ramey
Talking With Your Child About Sex
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Campbell, Jacqueline C.
Assessing Dangerousness
Violence by Sexual Offenders, Batterers and Child Abusers
New York: Sage Publications, 2004

Campbell, Herbert James
The Pleasure Areas
London: Eyre Methuen Ltd., 1973

Clarke-Steward, S., Friedman, S. & Koch, J.
Child Development, A Topical Approach
London: John Wiley, 1986

Constantine, Larry L.
Children & Sex
New Findings, New Perspectives
Larry L. Constantine & Floyd M. Martinson (Eds.)
Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1981
Treasures of the Island
Children in Alternative Lifestyles
Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1976
Where are the Kids?
in: Libby & Whitehurst (ed.)
Marriage and Alternatives
Glenview: Scott Foresman, 1977
Open Family
A Lifestyle for Kids and other People
26 FAMILY COORDINATOR 113-130 (1977)

Cook, M. & Howells, K. (Eds.)
Adult Sexual Interest in Children
Academic Press, London, 1980

109
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Covitz, Joel
Emotional Child Abuse
The Family Curse
Boston: Sigo Press, 1986

Currier, Richard L.
Juvenile Sexuality in Global Perspective
in : Children & Sex, New Findings, New Perspectives
Larry L. Constantine & Floyd M. Martinson (Eds.)
Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1981

Davis, A. J.
Sexual Assaults in the Philadelphia Prison System and Sheriff's Van
Trans-Action 6, 2, 8-16 (1968)

Dean & Bruyn-Kops
The Crime and the Consequences of Rape
New York: Thomas, 1982

Deleuze, Gilles, Guattari, Felix
L’Anti-Oedipe
Capitalisme et Schizophrénie
Nouvelle Édition Augmentée
Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1973

DeMause, Lloyd
The History of Childhood
New York, 1974
Foundations of Psychohistory
New York: Creative Roots, 1982

Dolto, Françoise
La Cause des Enfants
Paris: Laffont, 1985
Mein Leben auf der Seite der Kinder
Ein Plädoyer für eine kindgerechte Welt
Hamburg: Lübbe Verlagsgruppe, 1993
Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie
Paris: Seuil, 1971

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Psychoanalyse und Kinderheilkunde
Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp, 1997
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, 1
Paris: Seuil, 1982
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, 2
Paris: Seuil, 1985
Séminaire de Psychanalyse d’Enfants, 3
Paris: Seuil, 1988
Praxis der Kinderanalyse. Ein Seminar.
Hamburg: Klett-Cotta, 1985
Alles ist Sprache
Kindern mit Worten helfen
Berlin: Quadriga, 1996
Über das Begehren
Die Anfänge der menschlichen Kommunikation
2. Auflage
Hamburg: Klett-Cotta, 1996
Kinder stark machen
Die ersten Lebensjahre
Berlin: Beltz Verlag, 2000
L’évangile au risque de la psychanalyse
Paris: Seuil, 1980

Ellis, Havelock
Sexual Inversion
Republished
New York: University Press of the Pacific, 2001
Originally published in 1897
The Sexual Impulse in Women
Republished
New York: University Press of the Pacific, 2001
Originally published in 1903
The Dance of Life
New York: Greenwood Press Reprint Edition, 1973
Originally published in 1923

Elwin, V.
The Muria and their Ghotul
Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1947

111
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Erikson, Erik H.
Childhood and Society
New York: Norton, 1993
First published in 1950

Farson, Richard
Birthrights
A Bill of Rights for Children
Macmillan, New York, 1974

Finkelhor, David
Sexually Victimized Children
New York: Free Press, 1981

Fortune, Mary M.
Sexual Violence
New York: Pilgrim Press, 1994

Foster/Freed
A Bill of Rights for Children
6 FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY 343 (1972)

Foucault, Michel
The History of Sexuality, Vol. I : The Will to Knowledge
London: Penguin, 1998
First published in 1976
The History of Sexuality, Vol. II : The Use of Pleasure
London: Penguin, 1998
First published in 1984
The History of Sexuality, Vol. III : The Care of Self
London: Penguin, 1998
First published in 1984

Freud, Anna
War and Children
London: 1943

112
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Freud, Sigmund
Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
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London: Hogarth Press, 1953-54
Vol. 7, pp. 130 ff.
(first published in 1905)

Freund, Kurt
Assessment of Pedophilia
in: Cook, M. and Howells, K. (eds.)
Adult Sexual Interest in Children
Academic Press, London, 1980

Fromm, Erich
The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness
New York: Owl Book, 1992
Originally published in 1973
Anatomie der menschlichen Destruktivität
Berlin: Rowohlt, 1977
Escape from Freedom
New York: Owl Books, 1994
Originally published in 1941
Die Furcht vor der Freiheit
München: DTV Verlag, 1993
To Have or To Be
New York: Continuum International Publishing, 1996
Originally published in 1976
Haben oder Sein
Die seelischen Grundlagen einer neuen Gesellschaft
München: DTV Verlag, 2005
The Art of Loving
New York: HarperPerennial, 2000
Originally published in 1956
Die Kunst des Liebens
Berlin: Ullstein, 2005

113
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Gil, David G.
Societal Violence and Violence in Families
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New York: Ams Press, 1928

Goldstein, Jeffrey H.
Aggression and Crimes of Violence
New York, 1975

Goleman, Daniel
Emotional Intelligence
New York, Bantam Books, 1995

Gordon, Rosemary
Pedophilia: Normal and Abnormal
in: Kraemer, The Forbidden Love
London, 1976

Groth, A. Nicholas
Men Who Rape
The Psychology of the Offender
New York: Perseus Publishing, 1980

Gunn, John
Violence
New York/Washington, 1973

Herman, Dean M.
A Statutory Proposal to Prohibit the Infliction of Violence upon Children
19 FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY, 1986, 1-52

Héroard, J.
Journal de Jean Héroard sur l’Enfance et la Jeunesse de Louis XIII
Paris: Soulié/Barthélemy, 1868

Howells, Kevin
Adult Sexual Interest in Children
Considerations Relevant to Theories of Aetiology in:
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Academic Press, London, 1980

114
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Jackson, Stevi
Childhood and Sexuality
New York: Blackwell, 1982

Kaiser, Edmond
La Marche aux Enfants
Lausanne: P.-M. Favre, 1979

Klein, Melanie
Love, Guilt and Reparation, and Other Works 1921-1945
New York: Free Press, 1984
(Reissue Edition)
Envy and Gratitude and Other Works 1946-1963
New York: Free Press, 2002
(Reissue Edition)

Kraemer
The Forbidden Love
London, 1976

Krafft-Ebing, Richard von
Psychopathia sexualis
New York: Bell Publishing, 1965
Originally published in 1886

Laing, Ronald David
Divided Self
New York: Viking Press, 1991
R.D. Laing and the Paths of Anti-Psychiatry
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London: Routledge, 1997
The Politics of Experience
New York: Pantheon, 1983
Sagesse, déraison et folie
Paris: Seuil, 1986

Laud, Anne & Gilstrop, May
Violence in the Family
A Selected Bibliography on Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse
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115
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

University of Georgia Libraries
Bibliographical Series, No. 32

Leboyer, Frederick
Birth Without Violence
New York, 1975
Pour une Naissance sans Violence
Paris: Seuil, 1974
Geburt ohne Gewalt
München: Kösel 1981

Cette Lumière d’où vient l’Enfant
Paris: Seuil, 1978
Inner Beauty, Inner Light
New York: Newmarket Press, 1997
Weg des Lichts
München: Kösel, 1991
Loving Hands
The Traditional Art of Baby Massage
New York: Newmarket Press, 1977
Sanfte Hände
Die Kunst der indischen Baby-Massage
München: Kösel, 1979
The Art of Breathing
New York: Newmarket Press, 1991

Liedloff, Jean
Continuum Concept
In Search of Happiness Lost
New York: Perseus Books, 1986
First published in 1977

Lowen, Alexander
Angst vor dem Leben
Über den Ursprung seelischen Leides
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München: Goldmann Wilhelm, 1989
Bioenergetics
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116
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Bioenergetik
Therapie der Seele durch Arbeit mit dem Körper
Berlin: Rowohlt, 2008
Depression and the Body
The Biological Basis of Faith and Reality
New York: Penguin, 1992
Fear of Life
New York: Bioenergetic Press, 2003
Honoring the Body
The Autobiography of Alexander Lowen
New York: Bioenergetic Press, 2004
Joy
The Surrender to the Body and to Life
New York: Penguin, 1995
Liebe und Orgasmus
Persönlichkeitserfahrung durch sexuelle Erfüllung
München: Goldmann Wilhelm, 1993
Love and Orgasm
New York: Macmillan, 1965
Love, Sex and Your Heart
New York: Bioenergetics Press, 2004
Narcissism: Denial of the True Self
New York: Macmillan, Collier Books, 1983
Narzissmus
Die Verleugnung des wahren Selbst
München: Goldmann Wilhelm, 1992
Pleasure: A Creative Approach to Life
New York: Bioenergetics Press, 2004
First published in 1970
The Language of the Body
Physical Dynamics of Character Structure
New York: Bioenergetics Press, 2006
First published in 1958

Malinowski, Bronislaw
Crime und Custom in Savage Society
London: Kegan, 1926
Sex and Repression in Savage Society
London: Kegan, 1927

117
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

The Sexual Life of Savages in North West Melanesia
New York: Halcyon House, 1929

Martinson, Floyd M.
Sexual Knowledge
Values and Behavior Patterns
St. Peter: Minn.: Gustavus Adolphus College, 1966
Infant and Child Sexuality
St. Peter: Minn.: Gustavus Adolphus College, 1973
The Quality of Adolescent Experiences
St. Peter: Minn.: Gustavus Adolphus College, 1974
The Child and the Family
Calgary, Alberta: The University of Calgary, 1980
The Sex Education of Young Children
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New York, London: Plenum Press, 1981, pp. 51 ff.
The Sexual Life of Children
New York: Bergin & Garvey, 1994
Children and Sex, Part II: Childhood Sexuality
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Masters, R.E.L.
Forbidden Sexual Behavior and Morality
New York, 1962

Mead, Margaret
Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies
New York, 1935

Miller, Alice
Four Your Own Good
Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983
The Drama of the Gifted Child
In Search for the True Self
translated by Ruth Ward
New York: Basic Books, 1996
Thou Shalt Not Be Aware
Society’s Betrayal of the Child
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Moll, Albert
The Sexual Life of the Child
New York: Macmillan, 1912
First published in German as
Das Sexualleben des Kindes, 1909

Moser, Charles Allen
DSM-IV-TR and the Paraphilias: an argument for removal
With Peggy J. Kleinplatz
Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality 17 (3/4), 91-109 (2005)

Murdock, G.
Social Structure
New York: Macmillan, 1960

Neill, Alexander Sutherland
Neill! Neill! Orange-Peel!
New York: Hart Publishing Co., 1972
Neill! Neill! Birnenstiel!
Berlin: Rowohlt, 1973
Summerhill
A Radical Approach to Child Rearing
New York: Hart Publishing, Reprint 1984
Originally published 1960
Theorie und Praxis der Antiautoritären Erziehung
Das Beispiel Summerhill
Berlin: Rowohlt Verlag, 1969
Summerhill School
A New View of Childhood
New York: St. Martin's Press
Reprint 1995
Das Prinzip Summerhill
Berlin: Rowohlt, 1971

O’Brian, Shirley
Child Pornography
2nd edition
New York: Kendall/Hunt, 1992

119
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Odent, Michel
Birth Reborn
What Childbirth Should Be
London: Souvenir Press, 1994
The Scientification of Love
London: Free Association Books, 1999
Die Wurzeln der Liebe
Wie unsere wichtigsten Emotionen entstehen
Olten: Walter Verlag, 2001
Primal Health
Understanding the Critical Period Between Conception and the First
Birthday
London: Clairview Books, 2002
First Published in 1986 with Century Hutchinson in London
La Santé Primale
Paris: Payot, 1986
Die sanfte Geburt
Die Leboyer-Methode in der Praxis
Bergisch-Gladbach: Lübbe Verlag, 2001
The Functions of the Orgasms
The Highway to Transcendence
London: Pinter & Martin, 2009

Ollendorf-Reich, Ilse
Wilhelm Reich, A Personal Biography
New York, St. Martins Press, 1969

Petrash, Jack
Understanding Waldorf Education
Teaching from the Inside Out
London: Floris Books, 2003

Plummer, Kenneth
Pedophilia
Constructing a Sociological Baseline
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Porteous, Hedy S.
Sex and Identity
Your Child’s Sexuality
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1972

Prescott, James W.
Affectional Bonding for the Prevention of Violent Behaviors
Neurobiological, Psychological and Religious/Spiritual Determinants
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Violent Behavior
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New York: PMA Publishing, 1990
Alienation of Affection
Psychology Today, December 1979
Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 10-20 (1975)
Deprivation of Physical Affection as a Primary Process in the Development of
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New York: Ams Press, 1979

Pritchard, Colin
The Child Abusers
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Raknes, Ola
Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1970

Reich, Wilhelm

Children of the Future
On the Prevention of Sexual Pathology
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983
First published in 1950

Early Writings 1
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1975

Ether, God & Devil & Cosmic Superimposition
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1972
Originally published in 1949

121
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Genitality in the Theory and Therapy of Neurosis
©1980 by Mary Boyd Higgins as Director of the Wilhelm Reich Infant
Trust

Record of a Friendship
The Correspondence of Wilhelm Reich and A. S. Neill
New York, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981

Selected Writings
An Introduction to Orgonomy
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973

The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983
Originally published in 1935

The Bion Experiments
reprinted in Selected Writings
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973

The Cancer Biopathy (The Orgone, Vol. 2)
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973

The Function of the Orgasm (The Orgone, Vol. 1)
Orgone Institute Press, New York, 1942

The Invasion of Compulsory Sex Morality
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1971
Originally published in 1932

The Mass Psychology of Fascism
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1970
Originally published in 1933

The Schizophrenic Split
©1945, 1949, 1972 by Mary Boyd Higgins as Director of the
Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
XEROX Copy from the Wilhelm Reich Museum

The Sexual Revolution
©1945, 1962 by Mary Boyd Higgins as Director of the Wilhelm Reich
Infant Trust

122
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Rothschild & Wolf
Children of the Counterculture
New York: Garden City, 1976

Rush, Florence
The Best Kept Secret
Sexual Abuse of Children
New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1980

Sandfort, Theo
The Sexual Aspect of Pedophile Relations
The Experience of Twenty-five Boys
Amsterdam: Pan/Spartacus, 1982

Satinover, Jeffrey
Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth
New York: Baker Books, 1996

Scarro A. M., Jr. (Ed.)
Male Rape
New York: Ams Press, 1982

Sharaf, Myron
Fury on Earth
A Biography of Wilhelm Reich
London: André Deutsch, 1983

Singer, June
Androgyny
New York: Doubleday Dell, 1976

Stekel, Wilhelm
Auto-Eroticism
A Psychiatric Study of Onanism and Neurosis
Republished, London: Paul Kegan, 2004
Patterns of Psychosexual Infantilism
New York, 1959 (reprint edition)
Sadism and Masochism
New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1953

123
FRANÇOISE DOLTO AND CHILD PSYCHOANALYSIS

Sex and Dreams
The Language of Dreams
Republished
New York: University Press of the Pacific, 2003

Textor, R. B.
A Cross-Cultural Summary
New Haven, Human Relations Area Files (HRAF)
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Unlawful Sex
Offences, Victims and Offenders in the Criminal Justice System of England
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The Report of the Howard League Working Party
London: Waterloo Publishers Ltd., 1985

Vanguard, Thorkil
Phallós
A Symbol and its History in the Male World
New York: International Universities Press, 2001

Ward, Elizabeth
Father-Daughter Rape
New York: Grove Press, 1985

Whitfield, Charles L.
Healing the Child Within
Deerfield Beach, Fl: Health Communications, 1987

Whiting, Beatrice B.
Children of Six Cultures
A Psycho-Cultural Analysis
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975

Yates, Alayne
Sex Without Shame
Encouraging the Child's Healthy Sexual Development
New York, 1978
Republished Internet Edition

124
Personal Notes