Jacqueline Girard-Frésard

Childhood Fears Publication date : October 1, 2009

Losing the love of someone we care for is our greatest lifelong fear. It first appears at birth: fear of losing the breast that feeds us, fear of losing our mother's warmth and our father's attentive protection.

Though our fear persists it weakens over time. It evolves and adopts new shapes: fear of losing one's position, identity, or the recognition of others; fear of being blamed, of not being up to the task, of not being good enough; fear of being too critical, too judgmental, too derogatory; fear of losing health, a resource one hopes to hold on to for as long as possible; fear of losing life itself.

Yet this fundamental fear takes on different expressions, depending on age, personality, individual history and psychic structures. Like the wind, fear would seem to be influenced by its environment, strengthened by internal turbulence, made to rise and fall according to personal experience.

This book teaches us how to distinguish between our children's fears, phobias and terror. It shows us how to recognise the archaic element that is present in all our fears, both large and small. And it helps us identify the periods of instability that, throughout our lives, may intensify our archaic fear, making it blow harder till it announces a violent storm.

Jacqueline Girard is a psychologist and psychotherapist, based in Geneva.