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Cavell, M. (1998). The Development of the Affect System. Ulrich Moser and Ilka von Zeppelin. Pp. 32-84. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):532.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Development of the Affect System. Ulrich Moser and Ilka von Zeppelin. Pp. 32-84

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):532

The Development of the Affect System. Ulrich Moser and Ilka von Zeppelin. Pp. 32-84

Marcia Cavell

The authors show that the development of the affect system commences with affects of an exclusively communicative nature. These regulate the relationship between subject and object. On a different plane they also provide information on the feeling of self deriving from the interaction. Affect is seen throughout as a special kind of information. One section of the article is given over to intensity regulation and early affect defenses. The development of cognitive processes leads to the integration of affect systems and cognitive structures. In the preconceptual concrete phase, fantasies change the object relation in such a way as to make unpleasant affects disappear. Only at a later stage do fantasies acquire the capacity to deal with affects. Ultimately, the affect system is grounded on an invariant relationship feeling. On a variety of different levels it displays the features typical of situation theory and the theory of the representational world, thus making it possible to entertain complex object relations. In this process the various planes of the affect system are retained and practiced. Finally, the authors discuss the consequences of their remarks for the understanding of psychic disturbances and the therapies brought to bear on them.

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Article Citation

Cavell, M. (1998). The Development of the Affect System. Ulrich Moser and Ilka von Zeppelin.. Psychoanal. Q., 67(3):532

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