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Jacobs, D.H. (1992). A Critical Review of Psychoanalytic Adult Developmental Psychology. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 15(4):523-547.

(1992). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 15(4):523-547

A Critical Review of Psychoanalytic Adult Developmental Psychology

Dr. David H. Jacobs, Ph.D.

Clinical work with adult patients cannot serve as the basis of a general, non-clinical psychoanalytic view of adult life. The work of psychotherapy of necessity minimizes the adult patient's manifold dependence on the realities of the social environment, but outside the framework of treatment it must be recognized that the modal adult in contemporary American society is beset by sources of oppression and deficiency that cannot fail to substantially affect the individual's experience of life, as well as psychological capacities as assessed from the standpoint of an observer. Conspicuous sources of environmental oppression or deficiency are identified in two major realms: conditions of working life and total family income, and advanced social disintegration, especially with regard to the durability of social bonds, including marriage. A major emphasis on the necessity for defense against the assaults of a largely oppressive social environment constitutes a necessary corrective for the excessively interior and insulated view of the adult in society. As matters stand, the extant literature has de facto become a resource for mystification about the modal adult in American society.

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