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Walls Become DoorwaysWho's Been Sleeping in Your HeadWho's in Charge?Why Humans Like to CryWhy Love MattersWhy Lyrics LastWhy People CooperateWhy People Die by SuicideWhy Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human BehaviorWhy Smart People Can Be So StupidWhy the Mind is Not a ComputerWhy Us?Why We LieWhy We LoveWhy We SleepWider than the SkyWilliam James at the BoundariesWilling, Wanting, WaitingWittgenstein And PsychologyWomen and Child Sexual AbuseWorking MindsYoga and PsychologyYou Are What You RememberYoung Minds in Social WorldsYour Brain on CubsYour Brain on FoodYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Brain on YogaYour Child in the BalanceZombies and Consciousness
this well written, original and highly specialized book authors are arguing for
the importance of attachment and mentalization in the developing human
consciousness and subjectivity. In other words, four well know analysts and
theoreticians are exploring and rethinking the concepts of mentalization and
affect regulation. This work could be located within the well-established
tradition of interest within psychoanalysis in developmental theory and
research found among classical giants like Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Margaret
Mahler, W. R. Bion, Daniel Stern...
At the beginning of this book there are these words:
"Numerous paths come together in this book. Drawing from a wide range of
sources, we ambitiously aim to address multiple audiences: research
psychologists, clinical psychologists, and psychotherapists, but also developmentalists
from across other disciplines. From the most general perspective, we wish to
highlight the crucial importance of developmental work to psychology and
psychopathology. We offer an account of psychotherapy that seeks to integrate
our scientific knowledge of psychological development with our experience as
clinicians, working with children and adults. We believe that interests of our
patients are best served by a constant effort on the part both of individual
therapists and of the profession collectively to bring about such integration."
another perspective, however, this book is not limited only to psychoanalytic
or to psychological ideas and concerns. "We apply a philosophy-of-mind
approach in order to capture and specify the process by which infants fathom
the minds of others and eventually their own minds. The notion that we fathom
ourselves through others has its source in German Idealism and has been
articulated further by analytic philosophers of mind. The use of philosophy of
mind in this way is common in the field of social cognition. What
differentiates our approach is the attention we give not just to cognition, but
also to affects. In this regard, we rely on attachment theory, which provides
empirical support for the notion that an infant's sense of self emerges from
the affective quality of relationship with the primary caregiver."
in reference to the attachment theory: "Indeed, our work does not just
borrow from attachment theory, but offers a significant reformulation of it. We
shall argue that attachment is not an end in itself: rather, it exists in order
to produce a representational system that has evolved, we may presume, to aid
human survival... Our main focus through is on the development of
representations of psychological states in the minds of infants, children,
adolescents and adults. Mentalization -- a concept that is familiar in
developmental circles -- is the process by which we realize that having a mind
mediates our experience of the world. Mentalization is inartistically linked to
the development of the self, to its gradually elaborated inner organization,
and to its participation in human society, a network of human relationships
with other beings that share this unique function".
and philosophical studies of representation of intentional action have revealed
that the representation of intentional mind states may have a rather complex
internal structure. Conscious access to these structures may be at best partial
and could be totally absent. It seems important that we can map the process by
means of which the understanding of the self as a mental agent grows out of
interpersonal experience, particularly primary-object relations. Mentalization
involves both a self-reflective and an interpersonal component. In combination,
these provide the child with a capacity to distinguish inner from outer
reality, interpersonal mental and emotional processes from interpersonal
communications. In this book we could find both clinical and empirical evidence
in conjunction with developmental observations demonstrating that that the
baby's experience of himself as an organism with a mind or a psychological self
is not a genetic given. It is a structure that evolves from infancy through
childhood, and its development critically depends upon interaction with more
mature minds, who are both benign and reflective in turn.
is not just a cognitive process, but it developmentally commences with the
discovery affects through the primary-object relations. For this reason the
authors focus their attention on the concept of affect regulation. Affect
regulation, the capacity to modulate affect states, is closely related to mentalization
in that it plays a fundamental role in the unfolding of a sense of self.
Affect regulation is a prelude to mentalization, once mentalization has occurred,
the nature of affect regulation is transformed. Here we can distinguish between
affect regulation as a kind of a adjustment of affect states and a more
sophisticated variation, where affects are used to regulate the self. The
concept of mentalized affectivity marks a mature capacity for the regulation of
affect and denotes the capacity to discover the subjective meanings of one's
own affect sates. Mentalized affectivity, we can conclude, lies at the core of
the psychotherapeutic enterprise. It represents the experiential understanding
of one's feelings in a way that extends beyond intellectual understanding. It
is in this realm that we encounter resistances and defenses, not just against
specific emotional experiences, but against entire modes of psychological
functioning; not just distortions of mental representations standing in the way
of therapeutic progress, but also some basic inhibitions and malformations of
really believe that this book will become a classic. It could be of great use
for psychologists, psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. It could also become
standard work in a field of the developmental psychopathology.
© 2005 Petar Jevremovic
Jevremovic: Clinical psychologist and practicing psychotherapist, author of
two books (Psychoanalysis and Ontology, Lacan and Psychoanalysis),
translator of Aristotle and Maximus the Confessor, editor of the Serbian
editions of selected works of Heintz Kohut, Jacques Lacan and Melanie Klein,
author of various texts that are concerned with psychoanalysis, philosophy,
literature and theology. He lives in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
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