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Abrams, S. Neubauer, P.B. Solnit, A.J. (1999). Coordinating the Developmental and Psychoanalytic Processes: Three Case Reports—Introduction. Psychoanal. St. Child, 54:19-24.

(1999). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 54:19-24

Development and Technique

Coordinating the Developmental and Psychoanalytic Processes: Three Case Reports—Introduction

Samuel Abrams, Peter B. Neubauer and Albert J. Solnit

THE PSYCHOANALYTIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FUND SPONSORED a five-year study group on coordinating the psychoanalytic and developmental processes in children and adolescents. Some of the methods and aims of the study were described in a previous publication (Abrams and Solnit, 1998).

Early in the course of the project, it was recognized that there are significant controversies and ambiguities about the terms “psychoanalytic process” and “developmental process.” Consequently, it was important to come to some consensus as to how each would be understood.

Psychoanalysis was seen as a method of inquiry that leads to the revival of past conflicts and impaired relationships within the treatment interaction. Engagement of the pathologic past through the vehicle of transferences and countertransferences leads to a specific mode of therapeutic action that entails integrating the discovered antecedent pathogens into a new view of the self and the world. The developmental process, on the other hand, was seen as a conceptual model of normal growth consisting of a sequence of anticipated organizational hierarchies that arise over time. The new developmental organizations are a complex product of maturation and the stimuli arising from the social and familial surround. They bring in transformations of earlier conflicts and antecedent phases, thereby creating changing views of the self and of the world.

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