Skillful clinicians fortunate enough to work with conduct-disordered (CD) children often find the experience both gratifying and illuminating. A psychodynamic conceptualization of developmental processes is particularly useful for understanding the C D child. Part-object relations, primitive defensive operations, and primary process manifest on a symbolic but readily observable level through the child's play (A. Freud, 1936, 1974; Halpern, 1953; Klein, 1946, 1963; Russ, 1988; Waelder, 1933). These pre-oedipal psychodynamics provide a poignant view of inner turmoil (Rabinovitch, 1949). Psychodynamics may resonate with the clinician's own unanalyzed and sometimes forgotten parts. For some, resonance leads to empathy. Others devalue and distance from the child as primitive processes evoke their forgotten demons.1