Selma Fraiberg (1918–1981) was a child psychoanalyst, author and social worker. She studied infants with congenital blindness in the 1970s. She found that blind babies had three problems to overcome: learning to recognize parents from sound alone, learning about permanence of objects, acquiring a typical or healthy self image. She also found that vision acts as a way of pulling other sensory modalities together and without sight babies are delayed. In addition to her work with blind babies, she also was one of the founders of the field of infant mental health and developed mental health treatment approaches for infants, toddlers and their families. Her work on intergenerational transmission of trauma such as described in her landmark paper entitled "Ghosts in the Nursery" has had an important influence on the work of living psychoanalysts and clinical researchers such as Alicia Lieberman and Daniel Schechter
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“It can be fairly argued that the highest priority for mankind is to save itself from extinction. However, it can also be argued that a society that neglects its children and robs them of their human potential can extinguish itself without an external enemy.”
—Selma Fraiberg (20th century)
“It can be demonstrated that the childs contact with the real world is strengthened by his periodic excursions into fantasy. It becomes easier to tolerate the frustrations of the real world and to accede to the demands of reality if one can restore himself at intervals in a world where the deepest wishes can achieve imaginary gratification.”
—Selma H. Fraiberg (20th century)