The Development of Self in Children in Institutions

By Isabel Menzies Lyth | Published in Containing Anxiety in Institutions: Selected Essays Vol. 1. London: Free Association Books (1988) | Reprinted from Journal Child Psychotherapy, (1985) 11: 49-64

The theoretical basis for thinking in this paper centres on a
particular aspect of the development of the self, development that takes
place through introjective identification. Healthy development depends
greatly on the availability of appropriate models of individuals,
relationships and situations for such identification. These models may
be found in the adults who care for the children, their relationship
with the children and with each other, and the setting for care. Healthy
development may also require the management of the child’s
identification with inappropriate models, for example with other
children in institutions for delinquent or maladjusted children

The Development of Self in Children in Institutions

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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