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A Psychoanalytic Orientation to Development in the Twenty-First Century 

A Psychoanalytic Orientation to Development in the Twenty-First Century
Chapter:
A Psychoanalytic Orientation to Development in the Twenty-First Century
Source:
The Little Book of Child and Adolescent Development
Author(s):

Karen J. Gilmore

and Pamela Meersand

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199899227.003.0001

The first chapter establishes the orientation and positions us straddling a range of developmental divides: modern and postmodern, classical psychoanalytic, and contemporary intersubjective/relational, nature and nurture, one-person and two-person conceptualizations of psychology, theoretical/clinical and empirical. It proposes a bold integration of the authors’ version of psychoanalytical development thinking with the vast field of developmental science, abandoning the former over-reaching claims that maintain that clinical observation illuminates etiology. Utilizing basic concepts of dynamic systems theory, the chapter describes human development as the unique product of an array of interacting developing systems, including cognitive, motoric, socioemotional, intrapsychic, instinctual, and environmental. The body and brain and the growing repertoire of capacities as the child matures provide the developmental motor that engages the many systems at play, including environmental demands, inner life, and unconscious mind.

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