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Frank, G. (1987). Developmental Theory and Clinical Process. Fred Pine. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985. 269 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 74(2):307-309.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Review, 74(2):307-309


Developmental Theory and Clinical Process. Fred Pine. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985. 269 pp.

Review by:
George Frank

The conceptual base of psychoanalysis has continued to expand since Freud. Indeed, Freud himself began this process of expansion when he added structural considerations to a theory which had been, until that time, only based on the phenomenology of unconscious mentation. While Freud mentions the concepts of the nature of object relations and of the self in his writings, he never expanded upon them. Others did, and the nature of object relations and of the self constitute the more contemporary amendations to Freud's theory. Today, an informed psychoanalyst cannot afford to limit his conceptual vision to one facet of psychoanalytic theory: to drive psychology, ego psychology, object relations theory, or the psychology of the self. No one theoretical perspective by itself can satisfactorally represent human personality or account for psychopathology. In the absence of some modern-day Fenichel, each analyst must make a synthesis of all of these areas of study within psychoanalysis for themselves. This book is Fred Pine's odyssey toward such a synthesis.

Fred Pine came to this task from a distinguished career as clinician, researcher (collaborator with Margaret Mahler in some of her research and, as a consequence, co-author with her of the book The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant), and teacher.

The message in Fred Pine's books is fourfold:

1.   Psychoanalysis is a developmental theory throughout. Pine holds that (as the reader should note that Anna Freud already taught) the dynamic (the nature of drives) as well as the structural aspects of personality (the ego, the self and object representations) all must be looked at from a developmental perspective. It is not enough to discuss the structure and function of the ego, the self, and objects without recognizing that each of these constructs has its own line of development.

2.   That while drive, ego, self, and the nature of object relations each have their own line of development, personality is a function of the interaction of these developmental lines.

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