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Warshaw, S. (2015). Mutative Factors in Child Psychoanalysis: A Comparison of Diverse Relational Perspectives. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 14(4):387-405.

(2015). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 14(4):387-405

Mutative Factors in Child Psychoanalysis: A Comparison of Diverse Relational Perspectives

Susan C. Warshaw, ED.D., ABPP

The work of such child psychoanalysts as Melanie Klein, Winnicott, and Mahler, and of infant researchers such as Stern and Bowlby has figured prominently in the thinking of many analysts of adults who consider themselves to be working within a broadly defined relational perspective. The observations of these child researchers/practitioners have contributed significantly to developmental theory and frequently have been used to support relational model theories of the mind and corresponding evolving theories of adult psychoanalytic treatment. The various contemporary relational-model theories, while differing from one another in major ways, share a belief that personality is essentially forged in the context of relatedness to others (Greenberg & Mitchell, 1983). While not negating the importance of the body and its requirements in the development of personality, Greenberg and Mitchell suggest that the relational-model theories have shifted emphasis from the primacy of the drives in the shaping of personality development to the primacy of relatedness. With the shifts to relational conceptualizations of mind have come shifts in the conceptualizations of the nature of the unconscious along with widespread debate about the mutative factors in treatment, for example, the balance and significance of interpretive and relationship factors as those most essential for change to occur.

As has been well documented elsewhere, all the just mentioned child analysts/observers have made individual contributions to an evolving relational perspective (Greenberg & Mitchell, 1983; Mitchell, 1988).

[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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