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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Wright, K. (1993). T. Berry Brazelton and Bertrand G. Cramer, The Earliest Relationship: Parents, Infants and the Drama of Early Attachment. New York: Addison Wesley, 1990, xix + 252 pages. Free Associations, 4(1):138-150.

(1993). Free Associations, 4(1):138-150

T. Berry Brazelton and Bertrand G. Cramer, The Earliest Relationship: Parents, Infants and the Drama of Early Attachment. New York: Addison Wesley, 1990, xix + 252 pages

Review by:
Kenneth Wright

This book is an introduction to empirical infant research for those not previously acquainted with the field. The authors have long experience with their subject and they write ‘from the inside’ with authority and conviction. Both are clinicians as well as researchers, so that research and clinical work, empirical data and psychoanalytic ideas, inform the perspective of the book. Cramer, particularly, is associated with the new field of mother—infant psychotherapy which is vividly illustrated in case studies.

The book can be seen as a window on a burgeoning new field of research and discourse. It is an overview of the subject, a ‘state of the art’ with regard to mother—infant psychotherapy, and an attempted synthesis of psychoanalytic ideas with the newer findings of infant research. It could be read with benefit by a variety of people — by GPs, paediatricians, health visitors and social workers; by psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and psychotherapists; in fact by anyone involved with mothers and small babies or needing to understand the earliest stages of infant development. It is a strength of the book — though some might think a weakness — that it makes itself accessible to such diverse people. The cost, if it is a cost, is a lack of jargon. Perhaps more limiting is the relative sparseness of detailed research findings.

I personally enjoyed the book from many points of view but what I shall chiefly consider are some theoretical implications of the interactional approach it portrays.

[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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