The report of a paedophilic act may arouse at a conscious level profound pity for the victim, and disgust and violent retaliatory wishes toward the often demonised perpetrator. At a deeper, perhaps preconscious level, there may be a pang of guilt about the failure to protect the sexually vulnerable and immature child from the sexually mature adult. At an even deeper, unconscious level, there may be a hint of primal terror in response to the breach of a timeless foundation of society, namely the maintenance of the sexual boundary between the generations. The paedophilic act is difficult to think about because it disturbs our normal orientation to reality. It is not uncommon for us to defend against these strong, disturbing feelings and fantasies at a conscious, preconscious, and unconscious level by projection, denial and repression. Even psychoanalysts, with our special interest in the unconscious, have written relatively little about paedophilia. Cosimo Schinaia's book 'On Paedophilia' is an exception. It is an impressive, scholarly, and much needed addition to psychoanalytic literature on this neglected subject. In his Introduction, Schinaia responds to the meagre psychoanalytic bibliography on paedophilia by asking: 'why have psychoanalysts not been interested in the issue of paedophilia, and specifically in the psychopathology of the paedophile?' He not only proceeds to address that question, but through the eleven chapters of his book Dr Schinaia and his colleagues proceed to deepen and broaden our knowledge of the psychopathology of the paedophile. --Donald Campbell, child, adolescent and adult psychoanalyst working in the National Health Service and in private practice. He served as Chairman of the Portman Clinic and is past President of the British Psycho-Analytical Society
About the Author
Cosimo Schinaia is a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, Director of the Mental Health Centre of Central Genoa. He is an ordinary member of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society and a full member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He deals predominantly with the psychoanalysis of serious pathologies, the relationship between psychoanalysis and psychiatry, and the communication between psychoanalysis and other disciplines.