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Greenacre, P. (2010). The Predisposition to Anxiety Part II. Psychoanal Q., 79(4):1075-1101.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 79(4):1075-1101

The Predisposition to Anxiety Part II Related Papers

Phyllis Greenacre

Practical Considerations of Treatment

In a previous paper, The Predisposition to Anxiety, I advanced the tentative hypothesis that severe suffering and frustration occurring in the antenatal and early postnatal months, especially in the period preceding speech development, leave a heightened organic stamp on the make-up of the child. This is so assimilated into his organization as to be almost if not entirely indistinguishable from the inherited constitutional factors which themselves can never be entirely isolated and must rather be assumed from the difficult maze of observations of the genetic background of the given individual. I believe this organic stamp of suffering to consist of a genuine physiological sensitivity, a kind of increased indelibility of reaction to experience which heightens the anxiety potential and gives greater resonance to the anxieties of later life. The increase in early tension results in, or is concomitant with, first an increase in narcissism, and later an insecure and easily slipping sense of reality.

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