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Novick, K.K. Novick, J. (2014). Psychoanalysis and Child Rearing. Psychoanal. Inq., 34(5):440-451.

(2014). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 34(5):440-451

Developmental Theory and Parental Issues

Psychoanalysis and Child Rearing

Kerry Kelly Novick and Jack Novick, Ph.D.

In this article we suggest that current controversies around the psychoanalytic concepts of narcissism, omnipotence, specialness, and so forth derive from reliance on a single-track developmental model. A single-track model, used implicitly or explicitly by almost all psychoanalytic theorists, posits that normal infants and children function in ways that would be considered pathological in later life. This way of thinking is contradicted by modern infant and developmental research. Additionally, it contradicts common-sense experience and is, therefore, not a useful model for parenting. On the other hand, Freud and many other writers also posited a dual-track model, which simultaneously allows for both healthy and pathological choices throughout life. In this article, we describe some of the ways in which a dual-track model, which we have elaborated as two systems of self-regulation, can be usefully applied to theory, technique, and applications with all those involved with children.

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