Based on rich clinical experience and on theory from numerous psychoanalytical works, this book explores and analyzes the emergence and development of the psychic life.
Birth to Psychic Life explores the genesis of the psychic apparatus, reconstructs the development of subjectivity, with its ups and downs in babies as in all subjects, and studies the relationship between mental states at the dawn of psychic life and those characteristic of psychopathology. The book refers to Freudian, Kleinian and post-Kleinian works, proposing articulations between the different theoretical models. The referenced works’ contributions to the understanding of early psychic disorders, as well as to the implications of infantile psychic suffering in adulthood, are essential. The authors identify the three psychic constellations, recognized by many, that accompany the psychic birth and suggest new more adequate names in view of current works on subjectivity: the auto-sensual position, the symbiotic position and the depressive position. Many other new and original proposals are developed by the authors.
Providing tools to think about the processes of psychic growth, this book will be of interest to all psychoanalysts and psychotherapists working with infants and interested in the impact of early psychic development throughout life.
Introduction Part 1: 1. Introjection and its Relations to the Construction of the Psychical Apparatus 2. The First Containing External Object: the Momentary Object Part 2: 3. The Optimal Containing Object 4. Psychic Space Part 3: 5. On Adhesive Identification: Genesis of the Psychic Skin 6. On Symbiosis: a Common Skin 7. On the Skin-ego: a Complete Psychic Envelope 8. Conclusion: Psychic Birth and Psychopathological Deviations Part 4: 9. Splitting and Idealization: the Life Drives/Death Drives Duality 10. The Genesis and Development of Thought-Activity Part 5: 11. Projective Identification: Definition and Description 12. Projective Identification: Motives, Consequences, Phenomenology Part 6: 13. The Inadequacies of the Containing object 14. Phantasied Attacks on the Object 15. "Second Skin" Formation