Relationships in Development: Infancy, Intersubjectivity, and Attachment (Paperback) book cover

Relationships in Development

Infancy, Intersubjectivity, and Attachment

By Stephen Seligman

© 2018 – Routledge

340 pages

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Description

The recent explosion of new research about infants, parental care, and infant-parent relationships has shown conclusively that human relationships are central motivators and organizers in development. Relationships in Development examines the practical implications for dynamic psychotherapy with both adults and children, especially following trauma. Stephen Seligman offers engaging examples of infant-parent interactions as well as of psychotherapeutic process. He traces the place of childhood and child development in psychoanalysis from Freud onward, showing how different images about babies evolved and influenced analytic theory and practice. 

Relationships in Development offers a new integration of ideas that updates established psychoanalytic models in a new context: "Relational-developmental psychoanalysis." Seligman integrates four crucial domains: 

  • Infancy Research, including attachment theory and research
  • Developmental Psychoanalysis
  • Relational/intersubjective Psychoanalysis
  • Classical Freudian, Kleinian, and Object Relations theories (including Winnicott).

An array of specific sources are included: developmental neuroscience, attachment theory and research, studies of emotion, trauma and infant-parent interaction, and nonlinear dynamic systems theories. Although new psychoanalytic approaches are featured, the classical theories are not neglected, including the Freudian, Kleinian, Winnicottian, and Ego Psychology orientations. Seligman links current knowledge about early experiences and how they shape later development with the traditional psychoanalytic attention to the irrational, unconscious, turbulent, and unknowable aspects of the mind and human interaction. These different fields are taken together to offer an open and flexible approach to psychodynamic therapy with a variety of patients in different socioeconomic and cultural situations.

Relationships in Development will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, and graduate students in psychology, social work, and psychotherapy. The fundamental issues and implications presented will also be of great importance to the wider psychodynamic and psychotherapeutic communities.

Reviews

"Stephen Seligman’s new book is a valuable contribution to the psychoanalytic dialogue concerning developmental theory and its implications for analytic practice. His discussion of "relational-developmental psychoanalysis" is without parallel. It seems to me to pick up where Greenberg and Mitchell’s 1983 classic, Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory, leaves off. He presents in a highly readable way a multi-disciplinary approach that includes direct infant observation, experience with patients in psychoanalysis, as well as social, historical and biological contributions. The result is a compelling study of twenty-first century psychoanalysis, which will enrich the perspectives of psychoanalysts and infant observers, as well as students of any field that takes as its object of study the human condition in all of its complexity."-Thomas H. Ogden, author most recently of Reclaiming Unlived Life: Experiences in Psychoanalysis and Creative Readings: Essays on Seminal Analytic Works.

"This is an outstanding book. It provides a masterly account of developments in psychoanalysis particularly in relation to its theories of childhood and development. The account leads toward relational analysis yet takes off in highly original directions in its discussion of the importance of puzzled and open attention and the implications for the development of the sense of time and of the future in patients filled with a sense of futility. The chapters on the link between temporality and intentionality are fascinating and need urgently to be read by all clinicians. The whole book is wonderfully clear in the way it links infant observation and psychoanalysis. It is also a great read."- Anne Alvarez, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist; retired Co-Convener of the Autism Service, Child and Family Dept., Tavistock Clinic, London; Honorary Member of the Psychoanalytic Centre of California.

Table of Contents

What to Expect from This Book

Introduction: Why Developmental Psychoanalysis?

Part I: How We Got Here: A Roadmap to Psychoanalytic Theories of Childhood and Development

1. Childhood Has Meaning of Its Own: Freud and the Invention of Psychoanalysis

A. Freud’s Legacy for Developmental Psychoanalysis: Childhood at the Origins

B. Real Women and Children: The Emergence of Child Psychoanalysis

2. Theory I: Foreshadowings: Core Themes and Controversies in the Early Freudian Theories

3. The Baby at the Crossroads: The Structural Model, Ego Psychology, and Object Relations Theories

A. Ego Psychology: Psychic Structure, Adaptation, and External Realities

B. Kleinian Psychoanalysis: Internal Objects, Phantasies, and the Centrality of the Infantile Primitive Mind

C. The Middle Group: Toward a Relationship-Based Theory of Psychic Realities and Environments

4. Theory II: What Is a "Robust Developmental Perspective?"

5. The Postwar Diversification and Pluralization of Psychoanalysis in the United States: Interdisciplinary Expansion, the Widening Clinical Scope and the New Developmentalism

Part II: The Relational Baby: Intersubjectivity and Infant Development

6. Infancy Research: Toward a Relational-Developmental Psychoanalysis

7. Clinical Implications of Infancy Research: Affect, Interaction and Non-Verbal Meaning in the Dyadic Field

8. Theory III: The Relational Baby: Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

9. Continuities from Infancy to Adulthood: The Baby is Out of the Bathwater

10. Theory IV: The Move to the Maternal: Gender, Sexualities, and the Oedipus Complex in Light of Intersubjective Developmental Research

Part III: Attachment and Recognition in Clinical Process: Reflection, Regulation and Emotional Security

11. Intersubjectivity Today: The Orientation and Concept

12. Attachment Theory and Research in Context: Clinical Implications

13. Recognition and Mentalization in Infancy and Psychotherapy: Convergences of Attachment Theory and Psychoanalysis

14. Mentalization and Metaphor, Acknowledgement and Grief: Forms of Transformation in the Reflective Space

15. Infant-Parent Interactions, Phantasies, and an "Internal Two-Person Psychology": Projective Identification and the Intergenerational Transmission of Early Trauma in Kleinian Theory and Intersubjective Infant Research

Part IV: Vitality, Activity, and Communication in Development and Psychotherapy

16. Coming to Life in Time: Temporality, Early Deprivation, and the Sense of a Lively Future

17. Forms of Vitality and Other Integrations: Daniel Stern’s Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Core

Part V: Awareness, Confusion and Uncertainty: Nonlinear Dynamics in Everyday Practice

18. Feeling Puzzled While Paying Attention: The Analytic Mindset as an Agent of Therapeutic Change

19. Dynamic Systems Theories as a Basic Framework for Psychoanalysis: Change Processes in Development and Therapeutic Action

20. Searching for Core Principles: Louis Sander’s Synthesis of Biological, Psychological, and Relational Factors and Contemporary Developmental Psychodynamics

About the Author

Stephen Seligman is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco; Joint Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Dialogues; Training and Supervising Analyst at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California; and Clinical Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. He is also co-editor of the American Psychiatric Press’ Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: Core Concepts and Clinical Practice.

About the Series

Relational Perspectives Book Series

The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell (1983) to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.  

We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris with the assistance of Associate Editors Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. He was committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts and he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and he promoted new voices across the generations.  

Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, extend and develop the tradition, as well as works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast it with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY004000
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis

eResources

Classic Research on Video

The Strange Situation and the Still-face Setup

Ainsworth’s “strange situation” and Tronick’s “still-face” experiment are among the most memorable and influential in the infant development field.  They are shown in the following videos:

Key Concepts in Early Development

Affect

From the beginning of life, humans have articulately displayed emotion to directly affect the bodies, brains and minds of other people. Specific facial displays are linked to a variety of subjective experiences and internal bodily markers.  The following websites, organized around the seminal work of Silvan Tomkins and Paul Ekman, present images and accounts of these developments, including photos of distinctive facial emotion displays.

Neonatal Imitation and Social-Mindedness

Infants make and recognize communicative gestures within the first few days of life. Imitation was one of the first of these studied, as demonstrated in the following video, based on experiments by Andrew Meltzoff and others

Social Referencing

Throughout the life cycle, humans “check in” with those whom they trust to assess whether their environments are safe or threatening, a phenomenon which has been called “social referencing.”  The following video shows an example of this, demonstrated at the University of Colorado lab where many of the early studies of this key dynamic originated

Theory of Mind

The capacity to recognize that others have minds of their own, separate and different from the child’s, marks an important moment in child psychological development

Interactive Contingency in the First Months of Life: Implications for Attachment Security

Infants and their caregivers develop complex interaction patterns that shape the babies’ personality development. Joseph Jaffe, Beatrice Beebe and their colleagues have precisely described some of these patterns in the first months of life and shown that they predict attachment security at 12 months.

Organizations

Zero to Three and the World Association of Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) are leading organizations disseminating information about infancy and early childhood, linking professionals and pursuing advocacy at various institutional and governmental levels.  They also offer several resources-publications, media, conferences, and more.

Multimedia resources

Useful and informative multimedia resources are available at the following sites:

YouTube Sensations

The following videos have garnered hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, offering vivid (and charming) examples of the powerful communicative emotionality of babies: