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Wilson, A. (1995). Mapping the Mind in Relational Psychoanalysis: Some Critiques, Questions, and Conjectures. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(1):9-29.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(1):9-29

Mapping the Mind in Relational Psychoanalysis: Some Critiques, Questions, and Conjectures

Arnold Wilson, Ph.D.

Mind maps in psychoanalysis consist of hypothetical constructs, first posited and then interwoven, for generating conceptual leverage so that the analyst may make useful clinical interventions. An infinite number are conceivable; they must be tested in the clinical situation for efficacy. Maps of the mind proposed by relational analysts are examined and critiqued as pulling clinical theory too far toward environmental factors. Potential clinical dilemmas that then follow are identified. A dichotomous view that parses relational from other psychoanalytic views is discussed as a strategy that limits necessary clinical theory-building and evolution. A view of mind maps that attempt to coordinate a balanced view between endogenous and exogenous pressure is recommended and linked to some available evidence from human development. Questions concerning the role of representations and the developmental course of the structures in the mind are taken up.

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