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Separation and the Very Young

by James and Joyce Robertson

Published by Free Association Books(1989)


ISBN 1-85343-096-X

This is the first history of the work of a uniquely influential couple in the field of child health.  In the 1950s James Robertson, a young psychoanalyst, pioneered research into the psychological effects of separation from Mother when a young child went into hospital.  His results, captured in two internationally renowned films, gradually transformed hospital practice in the 1960s.  Visiting and staying with the child became freely encouraged, a practice now sufficiently widespread for its novelty to be too easily taken for granted.

Separation and the Very Young describes the work of James and Joyce Robertson, initially on hospital practice, and later on fostering and the problems of childcare services.  It is a lively text, full of reminiscences and hard-hitting polemic, combined with many unforgettable film stills.