Emotional Development in Psychoanalysis, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience: Creating Connections

Emotional Development in Psychoanalysis, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience: Creating Connections

Emotional Development in Psychoanalysis, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience: Creating Connections

Emotional Development in Psychoanalysis, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience: Creating Connections

Synopsis

Drawing on a wide range of detailed case studies with subjects across childhood and adolescence, this book provides insight into how very different schools of thought can work together to achieve clinical success in work with particularly difficult young patients.

Excerpt

Viviane Green

Emotional life, the very stuff of psychoanalysis, is now gaining prominence as a focus for legitimate scientific interest. A central aim behind this book was the wish to bring together under one roof some of the current psychoanalytic, attachment, neuropsychological and psychobiological perspectives in the belief that they have much to offer the individual who, for professional or personal reasons, is interested in emotional development. Emotional development takes place at the confluence of diverse and multiple processes and it seems apposite to draw on a variety of perspectives. In the first section the development of emotional life is viewed through different lenses, each highlighting a particular aspect of how the mind develops and functions. In the second section, the focus is at the psychic level, the individual's subjective experience as it reveals itself within the domain of a therapeutic relationship.

Integrating biological and clinical approaches: problems and possibilities

The link between the biological sciences and psychoanalysis is of course not new. From the outset the potential links between psychoanalysis (psychic life) and neurology (biology) had been of great interest to Freud. Many years later we are in a better position to understand the nature of these links but we are not yet clear as to how to integrate what are essentially very different paradigms, disciplines and traditions.

Whittle (1999) argues that subjectivity (within the domain of psychoanalysis) and science constitute utterly different enterprises, each with its own culture, methods and styles of thinking. Between these different parallel worlds, he writes, lies a yawning epistemological and methodological gap. While this may well be true it does not necessarily follow that what emerges from one field cannot inform the other. In some ways this book is an attempt to show that the gap may be neither so wide nor so unbridgeable. At the very least there are many clinicians peering over to the other side and indeed vice versa. All the authors in the first section straddle more than one discipline and as such are well placed to demonstrate that no single methodology alone can do justice to the complexities of the human mind.

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