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Hart, M. (1982). Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 51:340-343.

(1982). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 51:340-343

Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Marion Hart

March 17, 1980. PANEL DISCUSSION: THE CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT IN PSYCHOANALYSIS. Melvin A. Scharfman, M.D., Moderator; Samuel Abrams, M.D.; Alan J. Eisnitz, M.D.; Jules Glenn, M.D.

Dr. Samuel Abrams described the confusion surrounding the definition of the word "development." This is partially based on the many differing psychoanalytic theories which employ the term to describe unique events. Development defined in a conventional manner can be used in the sense of an occurrence (fate), an outcome of a sequence of related events whose causal links may be traced (such as the transference neurosis), or an enhancement (the lifting of social inhibitions or the broadening of social interactions). Psychoanalysis also includes propositions of development as a process—that is, expectable progressive sequences of growth to be seen in longitudinal observations of children and in reconstruction in adult analyses. The process meaning of the word is embedded in the phrases "development orientation" and "developmental point of view." Psychoanalytic developmental psychology is based on a view of growth as a progressive differentiation and integration of discriminating constituents. A "developmental orientation" is closer to empirical data and less abstract than the "developmental point of view." The latter is conceptually analogous to the dynamic or structural point of view. It is found as a component of the "genetic hypothesis" which contains both developmental and historical propositions.

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