Includes bibliographical references (p. -280) and index.
Foreword - John Beebe. Introduction. -- Part 1 - Symbolic fantasies that foster normal development. -- 1 Parent-infant "chemistry": the double bond. -- 2 The waking dream of infancy. -- 3 Realization in infancy. -- 4 The beginning of make-believe in early childhood. -- 5 The invisible friend in the preschool period. -- 6 The social realm in middle childhood. -- 7 Rehearsals of identity in early adolescence. -- Part 2 - When development stumbles: the healing power of symbols. -- 8 The chemistry and alchemy of the psychotherapeutic relationship. -- 9 Rediscovering pretend. -- 10 Imaginary companions as inner healers. -- 11 Community as metaphor and reality. -- 12 Play and the emergence of cultural attitudes. -- Part 3 - Summing up. -- 13 Explaining an amazing transformation: the symbolic analysis of a classic case
'...That is why I believe that [the book] is so important. It asks mental health clinicians who work with children, or the "child" in adults, to reconsider the role of fantasy in their patients' lives. Stewart demonstrates...that the symbol is far more than a refuge, far more than a way of "transcending" the conflicts that put ego development at risk. Rather, he shows us that the symbol, in tandem with the archetypal affects it supports, is the way the ego develops the attitudes it needs to grow....He demonstrates that the symbol not only accompanies development but also guides it. To read his book is to become excited about what children have always found exciting about their own childhoods, the chance to live compelling fantasy in meaningful play....' --Foreword