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Seligman, S. (2012). The Baby Out of the Bathwater: Microseconds, Psychic Structure, and Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(4):499-509.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(4):499-509

The Baby Out of the Bathwater: Microseconds, Psychic Structure, and Psychotherapy

Stephen Seligman, D.M.H.

Infant development research has proposed links between early development and adult personality and psychopathology. Although clinicians have long taken these for granted, these research approaches raise a number of methodological and clinical issues worth exploring. Analysts have relied on varied formulations of “psychic structure,” but these are sometimes elusive and have not lent themselves to the precision, specificity, and validation that some analysts and many developmentalists prefer. New models have emerged over the last decades, including conceptions of internal working models of attachment, implicit relational knowing, and the like. Attachment research has shown strong correlations between infant attachment classification and adult personality. Recent research such as that of Beebe, Jaffe, and their colleagues has extended the correlations between early mother–infant interaction patterns and adulthood. All of this supports clinicians' interest in attention to the details of analyst–patient interaction, emotion regulation, inersubjective meaning-making, and other markers that can be observed in both infancy and adult analysis.

[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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