The book describes, from a psychoanalytic perspective, the development of the parent-infant relationship in the first years of life. It follows the development of the child's relationship to his or her parents from birth until the end of the third year. The psychoanalytic understanding of earlier patterns of experience is expertly presented to the reader. For readers looking for an introduction to the many different psychoanayltical theories about the early years, this book offers a comprehensive guide to the most important directions. The author's experience as psychoanalyst, professor of education, and organising tutor of a university course for teachers, and as a mother and grandmother, all enrich her writing and contribute to the breadth of this remarkable book.