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Gabbard, G.O. (1993). New Dimensions in Adult Development: Edited by Robert A. Nemiroff and Calvin A. Colarusso. New York: Basic Books, 1990, 545 pp., $39.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:855-858.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:855-858

New Dimensions in Adult Development: Edited by Robert A. Nemiroff and Calvin A. Colarusso. New York: Basic Books, 1990, 545 pp., $39.95.

Review by:
Glen O. Gabbard, M.D.

The notion that middle-aged and elderly people may be analyzable is no longer a new idea. A rather extensive literature has accumulated indicating that the human psyche is sufficiently malleable to undergo structural change well into old age. A growing body of evidence from research in the neurosciences mirrors this view in that it has now been established that the plasticity of the brain is not a phenomenon confined to children and young adults (Levin, 1991). Even the canonizers will acknowledge that Freud was perhaps too cautious in restricting psychoanalysis to those who had not yet reached the watershed of middle age.

Although most analysts pay lip service to the concept of adult developmental phases and to the potential analyzability of older patients, many do not seem to believe it in their hearts.

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