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Lichtenberg, J.D. (1988). A Theory Of Motivational-functional Systems As Psychic Structures. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 36S(Supplement):57-72.

(1988). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 36S(Supplement):57-72

A Theory Of Motivational-functional Systems As Psychic Structures

Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D.

Psychoanalytic theory is not at its core so much a theory of structure as it is a theory of structural motivation. To utilize findings of infant observation and research, psychoanalysts must be open to new conceptions of psychic organization. I propose five motivational-functional systems: the need to fulfill physiological requirements, the need for attachment and affiliation, the need for assertion and exploration, the need to react aversively through antagonism and/or withdrawal, the need for sensual and sexual pleasure. Each is built around a fundamental need; each is based on behavior observable in the neonatal period; each may be the dominant motive expressed by an analysand's wishes during an analytic hour. For each motivational-functional system, affects are central.

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