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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Meissner, W.W. (2009). The Genesis of the Self: I. The Self and Its Parts. Psychoanal. Rev., 96(2):187-217.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Review, 96(2):187-217

The Genesis of the Self: I. The Self and Its Parts

W. W. Meissner, S.J., M.D.

In a series of studies over the last several years I have attempted to formulate a theory of the self that is synonymous with the human person and consistent with psychoanalytic perspectives (Meissner, 1986a, 1986b, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998a, 1998b, 1998c, 1999a, 1999b, 2000b, 2000c, 2000d, 2001, 2003d). My purpose in the present effort is limited in scope, namely to integrate this emerging theoretical overview of the self with current views of the development of the self. My analysis contains no new data regarding the psychic development of the self, but seeks only to achieve a further degree of theoretical integration.

My approach is based on the well-worn strategy of “divide and conquer.” In this first of three related papers appearing in this issue, I approach the material available from the rich literature on child development from the perspective of aspects of the self as formulated in my previous studies of the theory of the self. These will focus on considerations of the self-as-agent, self-as-subject, and self-as object, the combination of which constitutes the person as such as an internally organized self-system contained within the boundaries of the body-self. Beside reflections on the nature of the self as inherently bodily, I discuss aspects of the self as interpersonally and socially related as they find expression and implementation in the developmental process. In the second paper (Meissner, 2009a) I review and integrate some of the major findings of studies of child development in infancy with the theory of the self and its development as outlined in this first paper. My review will be selective and focused specifically on issues related to development of the self-as-person.

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