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Levinson, D.M. Atwood, G.E. (1999). Chapter 10 A Life of One's Own: A Case Study of the Loss and Restoration of the Sense of Personal Agency. Progress in Self Psychology, 15:163-181.

(1999). Progress in Self Psychology, 15:163-181

IV Case Studies

Chapter 10 A Life of One's Own: A Case Study of the Loss and Restoration of the Sense of Personal Agency

Dorthy M. Levinson, M.S.W. and George E. Atwood, Ph.D.

We are in the midst of a revolution in perspective that is transforming psychoanalytic conceptions of development, pathogenesis, and the therapeutic context. This revolution includes self psychology (Kohut, 1959, 1971, 1977), intersubjectivity theory (Atwood and Stolorow, 1984, 1993; Stolorow, Brandchaft, and Atwood, 1987; Stolorow and Atwood, 1992; Orange, Atwood, and Stolorow, 1997), and a variety of modern relational approaches (e.g., Mitchell, 1988, 1993; Bacal and Newman, 1990; Aron, 1996). From this perspective, dynamic processes, symptoms, and defenses, formerly viewed as products of an isolated mind (Stolorow and Atwood, 1992), are understood as inextricably interwoven with ties of human relatedness to vitally needed others. The development of self-experience in childhood is seen in the context of the responsiveness of caregivers.

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