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Diamond, D. Blatt, S.J. (1999). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 19(5):938-941.

(1999). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 19(5):938-941


Diana Diamond, Ph.D. and Sidney J. Blatt, Ph.D.

THESE TWO ISSUES DEMONSTRATE that the relationship between attachment theory and psychoanalysis, which began with so much animosity, has evolved into a dialogue of great promise. We can see from these papers that there is an evolving dialectic between attachment theory and psychoanalysis—a dialectic that is moving both traditions forward in a number of directions, both theoretical and clinical, some of which have been addressed in these two issues, some not.

In sum, the seven papers in this volume demostrate the relevance of attachment concepts in clinical work, particularly in understanding aspects of certain clinical disorders, especially dissociative and borderline disorders, and in evaluating and understanding the nature of therapeutic process and change. Further, the papers demostrate that although its use with clinical groups is relatively new, Main and Goldwyn's (1984-1998) system of analyzing a speaker's state of mind with respect to attachment through the AAI has much promise as a research instrument for assessing constructs related to dissociative disorders and borderline disorders, and for empirically investigating therapeutic outcome. Further, these papers contribute to our understanding of the factors that precipitate change in attachment status. Although attachment researchers have demonstrated remarkable predictability in attchment classification, both within the individual over the life cycle and across generations (see Hesse, 1999 for a review), attachment investigators are equally concerned with identifying the discontinuties as well as continuites in attachment organization (Fonagy, 1999; Main, 1999). An indepth examination of particular parent-child dyads with attachment discontinuities (such as that provided by Arietta Slade in this issue) illuminates our understanding of the dynamics underlying discrepancies in attachment status between parent and child.

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