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Issroff, J. (2006). Project for a Scientifically Underpinned Psychoanalysis A review of Affect Dysregulation and Disorders of the Self, by Allan N. Schore, New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. 403 pp. and Affect Regulation and the Repair of the Self, New York: W. W. Norton, 2003, 363 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 42(4):681-685.

(2006). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 42(4):681-685

Book Reviews

Project for a Scientifically Underpinned Psychoanalysis A review of Affect Dysregulation and Disorders of the Self, by Allan N. Schore, New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. 403 pp. and Affect Regulation and the Repair of the Self, New York: W. W. Norton, 2003, 363 pp.

Review by:
Judith Issroff, Ph.D.

Seldom does one have the privilege of reviewing work as important and impressive as these volumes. Along with Schore's earlier work, Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self, these two new collections constitute a trilogy of carefully crafted and researched papers. They also mark “a clarion call for a paradigm shift, both in psychiatry and in biology and in psychoanalytic psycho therapies.” The papers included in the two volumes were published during the past decade with newer material added. One cannot over-emphasize the significance of Schore's monumental creative labor.

Schore convincingly argues that it is self and personality, rather than consciousness, that are the outstanding issues in neuroscience. The development of self and personality is bound up with affect regulation during the first year of life when the infant is dependent on mother's auxiliary “self-object,” right-brain-mediated nonconscious “reading” of her infant's needs and regulatory capacity. Mother both soothes and excites within her infant's ability to cope without becoming traumatized. In other words, an attuned adaptive “good enough” functioning is essential for right-brain structural-functional development. The self-organization of the developing brain can only occur in the finely attuned relationship with another self, another brain.

According to Schore, Freud's unconscious and preconscious are right-brain based rather than in the lexical-semantic-motor dominant left hemisphere.

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