The neglect of siblings in depth psychology

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Henry Abramovitch, “The Neglect of Siblings in Depth Psychology,” The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, 2005, 24:2, 17-30. This review of Juliet Mitchell's Siblings: Sex and Violence documents the neglect of siblings in depth psychology and discusses how sibling material was missed or actively avoided in many of the classical cases in the literature. The reviewer discusses how the firstborn founders of psychoanalysis may have had an unconscious birth order bias which may have directly influenced their theories, since psychic life is typically described from the perspective of an eldest or only child. The review discusses a growing literature which stresses the importance of the sibling bond in psychotherapy, within the transference as well as for understanding unique aspects of sibling life, such as the “replacement child”, or shadow siblings. The importance of dealing with sibling material within analysis is emphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
JournalSan Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Birth order
  • Brothers
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Siblings
  • Sisters
  • Transference-countertransference


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