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Osofsky, J.D. (1999). Development. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(1):241-248.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(1):241-248

Development

Review by:
Joy D. Osofsky

On Infancy And Toddlerhood: An Elementary Textbook. By David Freedman. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1996, xiv + 248 pp., $29.95.

Normal Child And Adolescent Development. By Ralph Gemelli. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1996, xiv + 582 pp., $72.50.

It is noteworthy and encouraging for psychoanalysis that these two important books, recently published, have been designed to teach human development from a psychoanalytic perspective to analytic candidates, mental health professionals, and medical students. David Freedman's On Infancy and Toddlerhood: An elementary Textbook evolved out of a seminar on infancy and toddlerhood that he was asked to teach by the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute as part of its curriculum on psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Similarly, Ralph Gemelli's Normal Child and Adolescent Development was developed in the process of his teaching a course on the subject to medical students and mental health professionals in training. Both of these fine books present information on development, each with its own style but using a similar mix of theory, research, and clinical examples. This approach, by including diverse material, provides a rich and interesting presentation for the reader. Both volumes challenge the reader to consider different ways of understanding normal development. Freedman's, of course, confines itself to an early developmental period, while the Gemelli volume, though described in the title as covering childhood and adolescence, in fact includes about two hundred pages on infancy and toddlerhood. The Freedman volume, with its focus on the importance of neurophysiology and the effects of early experience on brain development, emphasizes some important new perspectives.

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