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Vorus, N. Vorus, T.S. (2006). Preface. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 5(3):257-258.

(2006). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 5(3):257-258


Neal Vorus and Tracey Strasser Vorus

This Journal is a Record of a Conference Held by the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research on October 15 and 16, 2005. The aim of the conference was to further the dialogue between Contemporary British Kleinians and Modern Freudians that has taken place through periodic visits between New York and London over the past fifteen years. This evolving conversation has mainly centered on clinical matters, and has contributed to the emergence of common ground regarding certain aspects of technique, alongside continued theoretical differences (Schafer, 1994). With this conference we open a new chapter in our dialogue by turning our attention to our respective views of development. Historically, several basic issues have been divisive. Freudians have traditionally seen development in terms of psychosexual stages, while Kleinians have emphasized the movement through paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions. Freudians have viewed the Oedipus Complex and its resolution as the central moment of personality formation and a precursor to the internalization of the superego, where the Kleinians have viewed the incipient superego as forming much earlier, and emphasized the importance of the stable internalization of a good object in the context of an early preponderance of destructiveness as critical to the healthy attainment of the depressive position. Kleinians have been criticized by Freudians for their assumption of complex mental activities in the earliest weeks of life, while Kleinians have seen Freudians as ignoring the most important events of infancy due to their preferential focus on the mental life of the post-verbal child.

And yet, much has changed on either side of the debate in the years since these views crystallized.

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