Infant Research and Adult Treatment is the first synoptic rendering of Beatrice Beebe’s and Frank Lachmann’s impressive body of work. Therapists unfamiliar with current research findings will find here a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of infant competencies. These competencies give rise to presymbolic representations that are best understood from the standpoint of a systems view of interaction. It is through this conceptual window that the underpinnings of the psychoanalytic situation, especially the ways in which both patient and therapist find and use strategies for preserving and transforming self-organization in a dialogic context, emerge with new clarity.
They not only show how their understanding of treatment has evolved, but illustrate this process through detailed descriptions of clinical work with long-term patients. Throughout, they demonstrate how participation in the dyadic interaction reorganizes intrapsychic and relational processes in analyst and patient alike, and in ways both consonant with, and different from, what is observed in adult-infant interactions. Of special note is their creative formulation of the principles of ongoing regulation; disruption and repair; and heightened affective moments. These principles, which describe crucial facets of the basic patterning of self-organization and its transformation in early life, provide clinical leverage for initiating and sustaining a therapeutic process with difficult to reach patients.
This book provides a bridge from the phenomenology of self psychological, relational, and intersubjective approaches to a systems theoretical understanding that is consistent with recent developments in psychoanalytic therapy and amenable to further clinical investigation. Both as reference work and teaching tool, as research-grounded theorizing and clinically relevant synthesis, Infant Research and Adult Treatment is destined to be a permanent addition to every thoughtful clinician's bookshelf.
“This ground-breaking book is one of the most creative and valuable contributions to psychoanalysis to appear in the last decade. Applying the fascinating discoveries of infant-mother observational research to the treatment of adult patients, Beebe and Lachmann open up new ways of understanding and working with the myriad communications between patient and analyst that form the core of the analytic process. An educational experience in itself, this book should be required reading for anyone working in the mental health field today.”
- Theodore J. Jacobs, Ph.D., New York and NYU Psychoanalytic Institutes
“This extraordinary book is a critical landmark in the psychoanalytic literature. The culmination of decades of dialogue between the coauthors, Infant Research and Adult Treatment provides rich new metaphors, scenarios, and narratives for practitioners. Beebe and Lachmann lay out a sophisticated paradigm of the origins of relatedness and a complex systems view of mind as organized in interaction. Disposing definitively of any residual sense that clinical psychoanalysis and infant research cannot fully address, and benefit from, the insights of the other, they bring the conversation between these disparate disciplines to an exciting and creative new level.”
- Lewis Aron, Ph.D., Director, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
“Infant Research and Adult Treatment contributes greatly to our understanding of how infants interact with their caretakers. In addition, the authors ambitiously invite us to rethink some of our assumptions about what it is we do with our patients that leads to change. It seems to me they succeed admirably. . . . their effort must be applauded and their book should be enjoyed and appreciated for all it has to teach us.”
- Ruth R. Imber, JAPA
1. Introduction2. A Dyadic Systems View
3. Interactive Reorganization of Self-Regulation: The Case of Karen
4. Early Capacities and Presymbolic Representation
5. Patterns of Early Interactive Regulation
6. Coconstructing Inner and Relational Processes: Self- and Interactive Regulation in Infant Research and Adult Treatment
7. Representation and Internalization in Infancy: Three Principles of Salience
8. Three Principles of Salience in the Organization of the Patient-Analytic Interaction
9. An Interactive Model of the Mind for Adult Treatment