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Gentile, J. (2016). Between the Familiar and the Stranger: Attachment Security, Mutual Desire, and Reclaimed Love. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 11(3):193-215.

(2016). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 11(3):193-215

Original Articles

Between the Familiar and the Stranger: Attachment Security, Mutual Desire, and Reclaimed Love

Jill Gentile, Ph.D.

This article explores the idea that relationships of attachment security are simultaneously relationships of mutual desire. Seen through this lens, separation and reunion behavior become increasingly psychologically charged: infant and mother as well as patient and analyst must revisit their willingness to expose their desire in each encounter. By recognizing that personal agency is vital to both healthy attachment and romantic desire, we can begin to appreciate the dawning of romantic desire, not so much as promoting “separation-individuation” as often conceived, but as exerting a gravitational pull to revisit an original love—one that is now erotically reconceived. We reclaim an original love but now in a relational context between mother and the Other, the pre-Oedipal and the Oedipal, the familiar and the stranger.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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