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Diamond, D. Blatt, S.J. Lichtenberg, J. (2003). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 23(1):207-209.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 23(1):207-209


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

When We Began to Work on These Issues on Attachment Research and psychoanalysis over three years ago, our intent was to document and contribute to the rapprochement between psychoanalytic clinicians and theorists and attachment researchers. The papers in our three volumes, which combine clinical insights based on in-depth observations in the consulting room with empirical findings from attachment research, illustrate that a substantial number of psychoanalytic clinicians now embrace Bowlby's conviction that advances in psychoanalytic thought will be made through a convergence of theoretical, clinical, and research efforts. The papers in these volumes of Psychoanalytic Inquiry integrate attachment theory and research findings into psychoanalytic theory and technique. In applying attachment concepts and measures to individual cases, the papers in this, the latest of our three volumes, illustrate how findings from clinical psychoanalysis contribute to and clarify some of the major controversies that have emerged in the attachment tradition.

A number of the papers, drawing on findings from the Adult Attachment Interview, link individuals' constructions of their own early attachment experiences, as revealed through certain discourse characteristics, with parent-child attachment behaviors. These findings converge with the trend in contemporary psychoanalysis to view representations as constructions that may contain elements of the real situation that are organized in terms of a subjective perspective and by personal meaning. We can never really know fully the actual event that occurred; we can know only the experience of a particular individual and how that individual has constructed a meaning system around a series of interpersonal experiences. Although a number of the papers illustrate that the AAI is an important clinical research tool that contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of individual discourse characteristics and dynamics, the papers also illustrate some of the limitations of the use of the AAI in clinical situations.

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