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Blum, H.P. (1996). Female Psychology In Progress. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44S(Supplement):3-9.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44S(Supplement):3-9

Female Psychology In Progress

Harold P. Blum

Figure 2.

Frida Kahlo (1940) Self Portrait with Cropped Hair. Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 × 11" (40 × 27.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. Photograph © 1996 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

It is a privilege to be able to introduce this second volume on female psychology and to survey the many relevant theoretical changes that have occurred in the last twenty years. At the time the first volume (Blum, 1976) was conceived, it was apparent to me that the so-called classical formulations and propositions of female development, “The Psychology of Women,” were, in many respects, questionable both within and outside psychoanalysis. What had been learned and then taught by the earlier generations of psychoanalysts had, in very large measure, been based on the initial theories and limited experience of Freud and of psychoanalysts during his lifetime. Identified with classical teachers and teachings, analytic literature and analytic education perpetuated the authority, formulations, and cultural bias of the past. Many basic psychoanalytic discoveries had been confirmed, but the time was ripe for a critical reevaluation of classical theory, for testing new observations and ideas, and the implications arising from modifications of initial propositions and models. The growth and sophistication of psychoanalytic theory and developmental knowledge provided the background for the reconsideration and revision of older theory.

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