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Silverman, M.A. (2011). The Significance of Early Mother-Infant Interaction for Understanding the Art of Psychoanalysis and for the Psychoanalytic Understanding of Art: Mirroring and Attunement: Self-Realization in Psychoanalysis and Art. By Kenneth Wright. London/New York: Routledge, 2009. 212 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 80(1):171-185.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 80(1):171-185

Book Review Essay

The Significance of Early Mother-Infant Interaction for Understanding the Art of Psychoanalysis and for the Psychoanalytic Understanding of Art: Mirroring and Attunement: Self-Realization in Psychoanalysis and Art. By Kenneth Wright. London/New York: Routledge, 2009. 212 pp.

Review by:
Martin A. Silverman

This book, written by a member of the British “Independent Group,” is a wonderful addition to the growing body of literature devoted to the study of the impact on the developmental process of the very earliest mother-infant interaction. It focuses not only on the problems that arise when that interaction misfires or is interfered with, but also on the use of creative activity, i.e., artistic pursuits, to repair the psychological damage that has occurred.

Wright starts with Bion's observations (1962a, 1962b, 1965) about the infant needing its mother to receive, accept, tame, and give meaning to its anguished, chaotic, and inchoate expressions of discomfort and distress, via her capacity for reverie. Her alpha-function transforms raw, bodily beta-elements into (contained) mental, symbolic elements that represent the beginning of thought.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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