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Schachter, J. (2004). On: Chaotic possibilities: Toward a new model of development. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(4):1007-1009.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(4):1007-1009

On: Chaotic possibilities: Toward a new model of development

Joseph Schachter

Dear Sirs,

Galatzer-Levy (2004) argues cogently that we need to replace our simple system, linear dynamics model of development with a complex system characterized by non-linear dynamics. This emphasizes the abrupt changes, discontinuities, idiosyncratic developmental lines and disproportions between causes and effects in development.

Freud's theory of transference assumes a simple system with linear dynamics in which childhood experience/fantasy directly causes adult psychopathology. Surprisingly, Galatzer-Levy fails to mention a clear and important implication of his thesis: Freud's theory of transference is inconsistent with his proposed complex, non-linear developmental model. The term transference does not appear in his paper.

Galatzer-Levy writes, The fundamental developmental model in psychoanalysis is not in a satisfactory state (p. 424). He adds, The presupposition that there must be a normal developmental line connecting early states to mature ones should be abandoned (p. 432). He notes that the way experience shapes development is unpredictable, and that untoward experiences may lead to desirable developments.

My book Transference.

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