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Edgar, J.R. (1990). Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988: Intrapsychic Versus Interpersonal: The Wrong Dilemma. Sander M. Abend. Pp. 497-504.. Psychoanal Q., 59:329.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988: Intrapsychic Versus Interpersonal: The Wrong Dilemma. Sander M. Abend. Pp. 497-504.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:329

Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988: Intrapsychic Versus Interpersonal: The Wrong Dilemma. Sander M. Abend. Pp. 497-504.

James R. Edgar

Abend feels the crucial issue is not intrapsychic versus interpersonal, but whether infantile sexuality is the most important force affecting character development and character formation. Clinical theories should continue to evolve as new data are available; examples are given. One should be cautious in changing theories, to ensure that changes not be made for personal reasons and that the changes within a theory be consistent with the remaining body of the theory. Abend feels all psychoanalytic theories have a "schema of intrapsychic forces at work" whether this is made explicit or not. Freud's interest in intrapsychic fantasy did not make the real experience less important. His central thesis was that "conflict and its consequences constitute the central concern of psychoanalysis." By conflict he meant "unconscious instinctual conflict of childhood origins." Abend shows how the metapsychology related to instinct and drive has changed within classical psychoanalytic theory, but he reiterates that even with the change, we still tend to see most drive derivatives as related to either sexual or aggressive strivings. He points to other factors (cognitive capabilities, biological and social development) that contribute toward making the oedipal period the crucial organizing phase for so much of what follows in life. Abend feels that this view does not detract from the importance of preoedipal or postoedipal development, but he cautions against the use of these other frames of reference when they are substituted for and not integrated with oedipal issues.

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Article Citation

Edgar, J.R. (1990). Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988. Psychoanal. Q., 59:329

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