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Tolpin, M.N. (1989). A Prospective Constructionist View of Development. Ann. Psychoanal., 17:308-316.

(1989). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 17:308-316

A Prospective Constructionist View of Development

Marian N. Tolpin, M.D.

Discussion

Dr. Tolpin

It is a privilege to discuss this impressive sample of the larger developmental study Dr. Demos carried out with Dr. Louis Sander. I have been asked to discuss the implications of their findings and formulations for psychoanalytic theory, and to approach this task from the standpoint of self psychology. To anticipate, it seems to me that Dr. Demos's two fold emphasis—on the regulation of self esteem by the joint work parents and children do together, and on the effect of this work on confidence, assertiveness, continuing initiative, and capacities to recover from failures--is identical with that of self psychology.

A Separate Psychological Organization from Birth On: A Point of Departure for Psychoanalysis

Despite the fact that their paternity is different and that they originate in different methods of conception, “Sander's Baby” and “Kohut's Baby” bear a striking resemblance to one another. That is to say, the psychological organization of the healthy baby and young child each describes is very similar, and it differs in essential respects from that of the baby posited by traditional psychoanalysis, modern ego psychology, and object-relations theories. To consider Sander's and Kohut's formulations and their implications for psychoanalytic theory it is first necessary to ask how the ideas underlying their respective contributions are alike. I shall mention three critical developmental ideas that are essential to the thinking of each.

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