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Shapiro, T. Emde, R.N. (1991). Introduction. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 39S(Supplement):3-4.

(1991). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 39S(Supplement):3-4


Theodore Shapiro, M.D. and Robert N. Emde, M.D.

THIS SECTION PRESENTS SELECTED new perspectives on development, some of which may be less familiar to the general psychoanalytic reader. An overview of common developmental principles may therefore be useful. We will then comment on more specific linkages to psychoanalysis.

Human developmental processes involve increasing organization over time. Thus, developmentalists see individuals moving toward increasingly organized complexity in their emotional development. Processes include both differentiation (an increasing number of organized patterns for emotional experience and expression) and integration (an increasing overall control and regulation of these patterns). Developmental processes also include both continuity (an "affective core" of patterning that persists as it undergoes incremental increases in organizations) and transformation (new emotional patterns that appear and change the organization of one's experience). Other dialectical polarities concern the contexts for such processes. Contexts for development include the biological (our Darwinian evolutionary givens for the emotional patterning of experience) as well as the social (the internalization of emotions through relationship experiences, changes in emotional organzation stemming from particular experiences with others, and trauma). They also include the intrapsychic (the development of signal affects, defensive organizations, and more complex, goal-oriented, emotional systems) as well as the interpersonal (the development of emotional communication systems, resonance, and empathy as well as more complex states such as shame and social responsibility).


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