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Evernote is a general note taking application that integrates with your browser. You can use it to save entire articles, bookmark articles, take notes, and more. It comes in both a free version which has limited synchronization capabilities, and also a subscription version, which raises that limit. You can download Evernote for your computer here. It can be used online, and there’s an app for it as well.

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Osofsky, J.D. (1998). The Essential Other: A Developmental Psychology of the Self. By Robert M. Galatzer-Levy and Bertram J. Cohler. New York: Basic Books, 1993, 468 pp., 48.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(1):301-304.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(1):301-304

The Essential Other: A Developmental Psychology of the Self. By Robert M. Galatzer-Levy and Bertram J. Cohler. New York: Basic Books, 1993, 468 pp., 48.00.

Review by:
Joy D. Osofsky

Should we place higher value on independence or interdependence? What about the role of the other in the development of the self? Psychoanalysis has long been concerned with an individual's developing capacity to be alone—the ultimate achievement being independence. But what of the capacity for interdependence? Does the self become enriched through a focus only on the self—or through an understanding the self in relation to others?

Robert Galatzer-Levy and Bertram Cohler, in this comprehensive and scholarly volume, emphasize the crucial role of others in developing a stable, actualized sense of self: “the self,” they write, “cannot be understood apart from the life of others …” (p. 358). Further, according to the authors, “Essential others constitute the central means by which people maintain meaning, personal integrity, and morale, reflecting little more than the restatement of the centrality of society and culture in human life” (p. 357). This position is one that is extremely compatible with clinical work, as was brought home to me recently with a young woman I am seeing who was complaining about “codependency” problems, a “1990s catchword.”

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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