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Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

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In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Fajardo, B. (1998). A New View of Developmental Research for Psychoanalysts. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(1):185-207.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(1):185-207

A New View of Developmental Research for Psychoanalysts

Barbara Fajardo

Three major epistemological perspectives in psychoanalysis are summarized, and the developmental research relevant to each is described. Not all research is useful for all psychoanalytic perspectives. The most historically recent of the three perspectives, exemplified by Winnicott, others in the British Independent Group, and the “relationists” in the United States, who focus on the experiential immediacy of the analyst-analysand interaction and emotions, presents new problems and challenges for meaningful dialogue with the developmental researcher. Research in extrapsychoanalytic disciplines has traditionally been posed as authoritative for the grounding of psychoanalytic “truth,” and, unlike the earlier perspectives, this view explicitly rejects any truth deriving from authority outside the psychoanalytic process itself. To illustrate how developmental research inquiry would be different for each epistemological perspective in psychoanalysis, the same study of infant development is described in three different ways as relevant to each perspective. Child development research has been changing as a field in ways parallel to psychoanalysis, each undergoing fundamental changes that encourage a new integration.

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