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Meares, R. Jones, S. (2009). The Role of Analogical Relatedness in Personal Integration or Coherence. Contemp. Psychoanal., 45(4):504-519.

(2009). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45(4):504-519

The Role of Analogical Relatedness in Personal Integration or Coherence

Russell Meares, M.D., FRCPsych, FRANZCP and Sharon Jones, MBBS, FRANZCP

A feeling of coherence is at the heart of ordinary personal existing. It is frequently lost in those who seek therapeutic help. Despite its clinical importance, there is no generally accepted theory of how psychic coherence comes about. William James is one of the few theorists who have pondered the matter. His ideas form the background to the therapeutic approach to the problem of coherence proposed here. The therapeutic approach depends on the Baldwin-Janet principle that those states experienced as “inner” in adult life had their first forms in the outer world as activity. We suggest that the activity promoting coherence is a particular style of conversation involving analogical responses, that is, those with a corresponding “shape.” The developmental trajectory of such analogical relatedness is shown in “protoconversation” and symbolic play.

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