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Fischer, N. (1992). Psychoanalysis and Motivation: By Joseph D. Lichtenberg. Hillsdale, N. J.: Analytic Press, 1989, 422 pp., $39.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:856-860.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:856-860

Psychoanalysis and Motivation: By Joseph D. Lichtenberg. Hillsdale, N. J.: Analytic Press, 1989, 422 pp., $39.95.

Review by:
Newell Fischer, M.D.

Joseph Lichtenberg skillfully synthesizes an impressive array of research and clinical findings from neonatal studies, child observational work, and adult psychoanalytic experience. He develops a rich, scholarly, and encompassing set of propositions and theoretical frame. His references are extensive with the work of D. N. Stern, H. Kohut, M. S. Mahler, S. Tomkins, and L. Sander being fundamental. Though his sources are many, the synthesis is uniquely his and is focused on the foundations of psychic development and on systems of motivation. Lichtenberg finds the perspective of self psychology most in keeping with his clinical experience and thinking, and throughout the book attempts to show how a conceptualization of motivational systems can be integrated with recent reformulations in the psychology of the self.

Lichtenberg's book on motivation is a continuation of his 1983 publication, Psychoanalysis and Infant Research. The findings from infant research in this earlier book are integrated and expanded, and serve as a base for the current study. His thesis is that motivation is best conceptualized as a "series of systems designed to promote the fulfillment and regulation of basic needs" (p. 1). Five distinct and fundamental needs are delineated, and around each a motivational system is organized. Each motivational system is based on clearly observable behaviors beginning in the neonatal period. The motivational systems are needs for (1) psychic regulation of physiological requirements, (2) attachment-affiliation, (3) exploration and assertion, (4) reacting adversely through antagonism or withdrawal, (5) sensual enjoyment and sexual excitement.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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