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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Flashman, A.J. (1996). Developing Developmental Lines. Psychoanal. St. Child, 51:255-269.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 51:255-269

Developing Developmental Lines

Alan J. Flashman, M.D.

Anna Freud's concept of developmental lines itself followed a complex path of development. Ms. Freud came to psychoanalytic maturity during a time when Sigmund Freud was rethinking many of his theories. He was engaged in adding to his analytic understanding of his patients’ past, a new approach to the intrapsychic synthesis that takes place in the present and potential future. Anna Freud extended this view in her work with children whose treatment and process of development overlapped in the continuous present and in the clinically foreseeable future. She provided a general system of thinking while respecting Freud's distrust of general systems and preserving his commitment to detailed observation and to poetic perception. This approach required the ability to distinguish clearly among different levels of generalization. Her complex experience as both daughter and analysand of her father contributed to her intuitive talent in making such distinctions. It was her mourning for her father after his death that pulled these trends together into her own unique contribution. Her mourning and her contribution took the form of continuing alone along the path she and her father had once traveled together. In the concept of developmental lines she gave most cogent expression to this continued journey.

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