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Solnit, A.J. (1994). Heinz Hartmann—Psychoanalysisand Health Values Unfolding. Psychoanal. St. Child, 49:36-45.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 49:36-45

Heinz Hartmann—Psychoanalysisand Health Values Unfolding

Albert J. Solnit, M.D.


The 1966 Festschrift in honor of Heinz Hartmann, psychoanalysis A General Psychology (Loewenstein et al.,), documented the breadth and depth of his contributions and his influence. In this year, the hundredth anniversary of Hartmann's birth, it is appropriate to rediscover and reconsider his pioneering elaboration of many of Freud's contributions. Hartmann also forged a number of original insights and questions. His emphasis on the complex unfolding influences of the simultaneous inner-instinctual and outer-reality demands on individual development was conceptualized as a dynamic balance which could best be approached through a focus on adaptation, where the intersection of endowment and experience and the continuum of deviant and normative can be discerned. In this way, Hartmann reminded us that biological endowment—the apparatus of perception, memory, motility, and so on—is already present at birth in the form of preadaptive maturational resources, capacities and tolerances prepared to react to and interact with the social environment in a developmental unfolding of patterned behaviors. As Hartmann (1956) said, “Perception, objectivation, anticipation, intentionality, neuralization of energy—all participate on the side of the ego in this process.”


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