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Meissner, W.W. (2009). The Genesis of the Self: III. The Progression from Rapprochement to Adolescence. Psychoanal. Rev., 96(2):261-295.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Review, 96(2):261-295

The Genesis of the Self: III. The Progression from Rapprochement to Adolescence

W. W. Meissner, S.J., M.D.

The preceding paper (Meissner, 2009b) dealt with the development of the self during the course of infancy and the earlier phases of separation and individuation. In the present paper I pick up the story with Mahler's rapprochement phase and its equivalents and follow its vicissitudes through latency and adolescence. In these earlier phases of the development of the self, the component parts of the internal self-systemthe self-as-agent (Meissner, 1993), self-as-subject (Meissner, 1999c), and self-as-object (Meissner, 1996)—have been already formed, so that the ensuing course of development is concerned with further modification and shaping of these aspects of the self as it emerges from infancy. The aspects of the self-as-relational (Meissner, 2000) will be implicated throughout, but in increasingly complex and diversified ways as the child advances through latency and adolescence. The function of the self-as-social (Meissner, 2003b) is increasingly more complex and continues to extend the range of its involvement along similar lines, emerging more explicitly in latency and reaching a high point of implication in adolescence.

The Rapprochement Subphase

Current thinking is more attuned to the vicissitudes of preoedipal influences in shaping the oedipal situation, particularly the contributions of preoedipal factors from oral and anal stages and the corresponding history of object relationships, particularly influences related to processes of separation-and-individuation (Brenner, 2002; Mahler, Pine, & Bergman, 1975).

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