My talk addresses a psychoanalytic understanding – or, perhaps, the psychoanalytic understanding – of how we develop what German psychologists call Urvertrauen. Sometimes referred to in English as “basic trust,” Urvertrauen forms during our earliest childhood experiences and, once in place, becomes a life-long source of stability for the psyche. In describing this phenomenon I will discuss two patients under my care who were unable to establish a sense of basic trust in early childhood and the effects it has had on their personality and development.
Ann Kathrin Scheerer, a practicing psychoanalyst in Hamburg, speaks and writes frequently about childhood development. She is the director of Extra-familial Care in Early Childhood and Its Effects on Children and Parents, a study group of the German Psychoanalytic Association, and is the chair of the elderly care facility of the Philipp F. Reemtsma Foundation. In 1993 she published Sieben Chinesinnen: Gespräche über Körper, Liebe, Sexualität.