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Spitz, R.A. (1972). Bridges—On Anticipation, Duration, and Meaning. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 20:721-735.

(1972). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 20:721-735

Bridges—On Anticipation, Duration, and Meaning

René A. Spitz, M.D.


Twelve years ago you honored me by entrusting me with the Freud Anniversary Lecture at the New York Academy of Medicine. On that occasion I dared greatly and presented a systematic review of my scientific position in respect to psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory as a holistic developmental psychophysiological approach. It was published under the title: A Genetic Field Theory of Ego Formation. Essentially it was based, on the one hand, on my understanding of Freud's and Hartmann's theoretical position, on the other, on my own research findings.

What I will present to you now are tentative ideas: speculations which have occupied my mind for a number of years: adventures and experiments of the mind which I am trying out, to see if they have merit—and what better audience could I find for such an attempt than this one?

Of necessity my approach will have to be a multidimensional one. At no later period of life do so many different levels of the personality meet for the first time as in infancy. I will take birth as my starting point—a starting point with nodal qualities. For at this point the newborn is at the parting of the waters, a being about whom we know a great deal retrospectively but very little about the enormous potentialities he is bringing with him.


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