By Daniel N. Stern
How do babies experience the world around them? How do they bring together the varied sights, sounds, and sensations to create a social environment? These questions have long intrigued students of human development, but until recently we have had to rely on adult memories to imagine what infants think and feel. Now, in this brilliant book, famed infant psychiatrist Daniel Stern brings together the exciting new research on infants and the insights of psychoanalysis to offer an original theory of how human beings create a sense of themselves and their relation to others. Unlike those who view early development as a gradual process of separation and individuation, Stern argues that infants differentiate themselves almost from birth and then progress through increasingly complex modes of relatedness. He describes this process in fascinating detail, vividly showing how infants and their caregivers communicate and share their experience. Stern challenges not only the traditional developmental sequence but also the notion that certain tasks are confined to infancy. Attachment, trust, and dependency are clinical issues throughout life, he contends- a concept that has important implications for psychoanalytic practice. Elegantly argued and rich in new insights, The Interpersonal World of the Infant is certain to be welcomed as a major contribution to our understanding of infancy and of psychological development throughout the life cycle.