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Green, M. (2004). Primitive Mental States Volume II, Psychobiological and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Early Trauma and Personality Development Shelley Alhanati (ed.) New York: Karnac 2002 277 pp. £43.99 ($60). J. Child Psychother., 30(1):124-126.

(2004). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 30(1):124-126

Primitive Mental States Volume II, Psychobiological and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Early Trauma and Personality Development Shelley Alhanati (ed.) New York: Karnac 2002 277 pp. £43.99 ($60)

Review by:
Michael Green

‘There are forces opposed to the development of psychoanalysis and the evolution of the personality’, state a group of Argentinian analysts, De Bianchedi et al., in a chapter entitled ‘Prenatals/Postnatals’. Shelley Alhanati, contributing editor, encourages us in her Introduction to put patients’ needs before notions of ‘psychoanalytic’ purity, to ‘stretch our boundaries, re-examine some of our most cherished psychoanalytic traditions and theoretical assumptions, re-define ourselves, and integrate psychoanalysis with other disciplines.’ This lively and thought-provoking collection of papers, although grounded in work with adults, is essential reading for any psychoanalytic psychotherapist interested in their professional development.

The first chapter, ‘Implications of a Psychoneurological Model of Projective Identification’ is a typically quotation-packed tour de force by Allan Schore. He sets out a model of projective identification as ‘an early appearing yet enduring intrapsychic mechanism that mediates the unconscious transmission of psychobiological states between the right brains of two members of an affect-communicating dyad’ then considers the clinical implications of this, concluding with the role of ‘co-regulated projective identifications in the internalization of a regulatory system in the patient's right brain’.

Schore's

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