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Cohler, B.J. (1989). A Prospective Constructionist View of Development. Ann. Psychoanal., 17:324-342.

(1989). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 17:324-342

A Prospective Constructionist View of Development

Bertram J. Cohler, Ph.D.


Dr. Cohler

We have been treated to a rich array of developmental and clinical findings. Virginia Demos has reviewed developmental findings showing the extent of sociability, responsiveness, and intentionality among infants and toddlers. Clinical studies have portrayed instances in which this capacity for intentionality and joy in living may be replaced by lowered mood, feelings of lack of self worth, and an emotional flatness which hardly does justice to the effective richness inherent in the human experience. This presentation is also characteristic of a major paradox confronting our field. On the one hand, there is a large literature in the realm of observational and empirical study of infancy and early childhood and, indeed, of the course of life as a whole. On the other hand, there is a large clinical literature reporting on the study and treatment of persons experiencing a sense of personal dislocation and crisis in their lives. We understand these crises in terms of past experiences.


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