Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: You can access over 100 digitized books…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Did you know that currently we have more than 100 digitized books available for you to read? You can find them in the Books Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Gunsberg, L. (1987). Prologue. Psychoanal. Inq., 7(3):301-305.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 7(3):301-305


Linda Gunsberg, Ph.D.

This is a very exciting time in the history of psychoanalysis. Significant attention has been turned to fleshing out psychoanalytic theory as a developmental psychology. The first three years of life are the focus of study by developmental researchers, psychoanalytic researchers, and psychoanalysts. All are searching for more understanding of the presymbolic and early symbolic years, using different methodologies, asking different questions, and organizing their results in different ways.

Developmental researchers have asked questions regarding the competencies of infants, using tests and laboratory settings for their studies. They have found that infants are capable of many more skills and functions than previously thought. They are beginning to consider the infant-mother interaction and the infant-father interaction. Psychoanalytic researchers have studied infants in their homes and in laboratory settings, usually within the context of the infant-mother relationship. The questions they ask have to do with what can be learned about the presymbolic era, when the infant has experiences which are not represented symbolically and which are not, therefore, likely to be available to the patient and analyst. If early experiences either are not coded or are coded in a form different from that of adult memory, perhaps research and longitudinal observation can help provide the pictures, images, or “model scenes” (Lichtenberg, this volume) that are either reorganized on a symbolic level, or are lost forever.

I am reminded of a beautiful children's story by Taro Yashima, “Umbrella” (1961, pp. 30, 32). In the story, Momo gets an umbrella and a pair of boots for her third birthday.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.