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Bone, H. (1975). The Inter-Personal and the Intra-Personal. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:46-65.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:46-65

The Inter-Personal and the Intra-Personal

Harry Bone, Ph.D.

AS EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN AN ANALYST for a quarter of a century, I have acquired conceptions and ways of working that are more or less my own. I have borrowed freely, and freely modified what I have borrowed. Each listener may judge for himself whether I have borrowed the best ideas, and whether my modifications are creatively inventive or blindly autistic. In any case, I have coined few if any neologisms!

Most of the items in my frame of reference for psychotherapy will not get into the picture this evening. (Incidentally, the term "psychotherapy, " or simply "therapy, " will refer indiscriminately to "psychoanalysis, " "intensive psychotherapy, " "deep psychotherapy, " "analysis of the total personality, " and so forth.) What I shall discuss are several topics which I believe can be clarified by the combined use of the two concepts, the "inter-personal" and the "intra-personal."

Inter-personal refers to cause and effect relations between individuals. Intra-personal refers to cause and effect relations between parts of a single individual. For instance, "Bill hates John, " is an inter-personal statement; "John hates himself, " is an intra-personal statement. John's intra-personal self-hatred is, of course, a result of previous inter-personal relationships.

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