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Silverman, D.K. (1991). Attachment Patterns and Freudian Theory: An Integrative Proposal. Psychoanal. Psychol., 8(2):169-193.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 8(2):169-193

Attachment Patterns and Freudian Theory: An Integrative Proposal

Doris K. Silverman, Ph.D.

Freud and subsequent analysts have described the infants’ proximity, safety, and security needs and caregivers’ responses to them. In this article, they are discussed as activating an attachment system, a nonlibidinally organized pattern of interactions between infants and their significant figures that becomes structuralized. Attachment theory and research are presented. An attempt is made to integrate this body of work into Freudian theory utilizing the concept of the self-preservative instinces, thereby providing an explicit object relations motivational system equal to drives. Clinical examples are presented that demonstrate the importance of attachment relationships, and illustrate the interweaving of drive-defense configurations and object relations.

What we cannot reach flying we must reach limping … The Book tells us it is no sin to limp. (The poet RüUkert's Makamen des Hariri as quoted by Freud, 1920p. 64)

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