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Loewald, H.W. (1978). Instinct Theory, Object Relations, and Psychic-Structure Formation. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 26:493-506.

(1978). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 26:493-506

Instinct Theory, Object Relations, and Psychic-Structure Formation

Hans W. Loewald, M.D.

I CAN BEST PAY TRIBUTE to Margaret Mahler's outstanding contributions to psychoanalysis by presenting some facets of my own work in psychoanalytic theory and its conceptualization. I trust that in the course of my presentation, necessarily quite brief and condensed, it will become apparent how much I owe to her observations and concepts, although my conceptual language in a number of ways differs from hers. I know how much I have learned from her ways of perceiving psychological material with the eyes, ears, and other perceptual organs of a psychoanalyst, while I often organize such data in a somewhat different, but I believe congenial, manner. In part this is the case because my psychoanalytic experience is based exclusively on therapeutic work with adults, however regressed or infantile they may have been in aspects of their personalities. In part the differences, not in approach but in conceptualization, derive from my abiding special preoccupation with certain issues of psychoanalytic theory and concept formation, issues that have not been in the forefront of her work.

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