Dr. Claudia Lament is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York University Langone Medical Center, and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child (The PSC), now published by Taylor & Francis. We spoke to Dr. Lament about the journal, child psychoanalysis, and The PSC’s partnership with Taylor and Francis.
About the editor
What’s your field of expertise?
Child and adolescent psychoanalysis, both practice and theory, and child development in general. I am also a psychoanalyst of adult patients.
How did you get involved with The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child?
After writing several papers that were published in The PSC, the senior editors invited me to join the editorial board. It has been my experience that long-standing journal editors are perpetually scanning the field to recruit new talent. The importance of safeguarding a journal’s reputation and legacy into the future cannot be overstated.
About the journal
How would you sum up the journal in a sentence?
The PSC presents carefully selected and edited representative articles featuring ongoing analytic research as well as clinical and theoretical contributions for use in the treatment of children and adolescents.
What are the key topics and concerns for the journal?
I envisage The PSC as anchored by three strands: firstly, clinical studies that foreground the expectable issues that beset children as they grow. Secondly, research on the ways in which our culture impacts how children navigate development. Thirdly, the application of child analytic principles to a variety of settings in the real world that children and adolescents inhabit.
About the research field
What are the key emerging research topics in child psychoanalysis?
Unconscious fantasy and its expressions are at the core of child analytic practice. Alongside this tradition, nonlinear dynamic systems theory has spurred a paradigm shift across a range of disciplines. Research considers how the theory provides our field with a new set of metaphors that help us think about the complexities of the developmental passage.
Using this model as a guide, a number of child analysts and researchers suggest that all mental life systems are at play for the patient: each non-conscious system interacts with and influences the dynamic unconscious. The role of this interaction among multiple systems in the understanding of health and disturbance has often been underplayed.
What does child psychoanalysis mean to you?
Child psychoanalysis assists children and adolescents who are stuck in maladaptive patterns of feeling and thinking. Psychoanalytic treatment helps the child recognize parts of herself outside her awareness, to better understand why she is unhappy. Fantasies, daydreams, play and behaviors may express unconscious meanings and hint at the child’s sources of discomfort. How these are lived out in the consulting room and in the real world are the centrepiece of the work. Other non-conscious systems in mental life that affect the dynamic unconscious – including symbolic functioning, affect regulation, cognitive functioning, and mentalizing – also need addressing, as these are undergoing growth and are subject to anomalies. They form part of the larger landscape the child analyst observes. The overall aim is to free up the forward momentum of growth.
About everything else…
What are you most looking forward to about The PSC’s partnership with Taylor & Francis?
The editorial board is thrilled with the state of the art marketing strategies Taylor & Francis employ which will bring our journal to far flung corners of the world. We are happy to be part of this publishing house alongside so many other psychoanalytic journals, as well as journals of different disciplines that intersect with ours. Experiencing the crosswinds of similar fields will help guide our own way forward.