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Diamond, D. Blatt, S.J. Lichtenberg, J. (2003). Prologue. Psychoanal. Inq., 23(1):1-11.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 23(1):1-11


Diana Diamond, Ph.D., Sidney J. Blatt, Ph.D. and Joseph Lichtenberg, M.D.

This Issue, The Third in a Series on Attachment Research and psychoanalysis, takes us back to one of Bowlby's original sources of inspiration—the consulting room—to explore how recent attachment investigations may illuminate aspects of therapeutic process and the therapeutic relationship. Bowlby's (1969, 1973, 1980) attachment theory, by placing the proclivity to form affectional bonds at the heart of human motivation and by providing an ethological rationale for it, catapulted the psychoanalytic community into a lively and often contentious debate about the organizing role of felt security, or lack of it, within attachment relationships for psychic life, a debate that has reconfigured the way we think about the relationship between object relations and drives. Now that debate is leading to a more quiet evolution in the realm of clinical psychoanalysis. Bowlby practicedas a psychoanalyst throughout much of his career, developing his original theories in part through clinical work with disturbed children and adults, including patients with borderline, antisocial, and narcissistic disorders (Bowlby, 1940, 1978, 1988). Yet, his followers were for the most part developmental research psychologists whose rigorous empirical methods and large scale studies with normative samples have defined and delimited their arena of exploration, even while they have produced an explosion of groundbreaking findings that potentially illuminate many aspects of the clinical enterprise. The articles in this volume illustrate how the working clinician may apply the discoveries and tools developed over 20 years of attachment research to illuminate aspects of the therapeutic relationship and process, both through clinical investigations, single case studies, and clinical research.

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