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Bloom-Feshbach, J. Bloom-Feshbach, S. (1996). The Related–Autonomous Position: Psychological Freedom, Mourning, and the Psychoanalytic Stance. Psychoanal. Psychol., 13(4):531-545.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 13(4):531-545

The Related–Autonomous Position: Psychological Freedom, Mourning, and the Psychoanalytic Stance

Jonathan Bloom-Feshbach, Ph.D. and Sally Bloom-Feshbach, Ph.D.

In this article we describe a psychological state of mind, the related–autonomous position, in which the individual experiences a sense of self-discovered reality. This psychological state is predicated upon a differentiated and integrated linkage between the self and the object world. The related–autonomous position is examined developmentally, conceptualized illustratively in the cognitive realm, and considered in regard to more emotionally complex domains of psychic functioning. This broader phenomenon of related–utonomous mental experience is spurred by a shift in the nature of the self's relationship to the internal object world, in which a heightened degree of mourning leads to an enhanced capacity for psychological representation and affective differentiation. A discussion of the psychoanalytic stance is presented to provide a case example of a related–autonomous psychological framework. In addition, other implications of the related–autonomous position are discussed, including the ability to make use of insight, countertransference, the nature of conscience, and the development of psychological freedom.

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