Relatedness, Self-Definition, and Mental Representation: Essays in Honor of Sidney J. Blatt

Relatedness, Self-Definition, and Mental Representation: Essays in Honor of Sidney J. Blatt

Relatedness, Self-Definition, and Mental Representation: Essays in Honor of Sidney J. Blatt

Relatedness, Self-Definition, and Mental Representation: Essays in Honor of Sidney J. Blatt

Synopsis

Over the course of a long and distinguished career, psychologist and psychoanalyst Sidney J. Blatt has made major contributions to cognitive-developmental theory, psychoanalytic object relations theory, applied psychoanalysis, and current research in the areas of psychopathology and psychotherapy. This book presents chapters by Dr. Blatt's many colleagues and students who address the key areas in which Dr Blatt focuses his intellectual endeavours: *Personality development *Psychopathology *Issues in psychological testing and assessment *Psychotherapy and the treatment process *Applied psychoanalysis and broader cultural trends Relatedness, Self-Definition and Mental Representation explores Dr. Blatt's unique contributions within both psychoanalysis, where empirical research is often neglected, and clinical psychology, where psychoanalysis is increasingly ignored. It will be engaging reading for psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists, as well as all those concerned with psychotherapy and personality theory and development.

Excerpt

Among the various pleasures of an academic career, one stands out-that is, writing the foreword to a book dedicated to one's early graduate student. That is my pleasure now in writing about and for Professor Sidney (“Sid”) Jules Blatt.

Sid received his Ph.D. in 1957, when I served as his dissertation chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. He selected and developed his thesis, “An Experimental Study of the Problem-Solving Process.” It involved a very difficult problem presented in a new apparatus built by John and Rimoldi (1955) and described later by Sid and me (Blatt and Stein 1959). From the very beginning of his work, Sid showed characteristics that would be evident throughout his grand career. First, Sid identified an important problem for his thesis and he approached it in an original and creative manner. Second, he searched the literature thoroughly to develop a proper background for the problem. He presented 101 references in five pages for a thesis that was 148 pages long. His earliest citation was Science et Méthode in French, published by Poincaré in 1908, followed by historical references to Titchener in 1909, Ruger in 1910, and Thorndike in 1911. He also integrated the 1945 contributions of Duncker and Wertheimer into his study of the problem-solving process. This was a masterful job. It always has been Sid's inclination to pursue difficult problems and to make them understandable and amenable to solution. This talent has been characteristic throughout his stellar career.

All this brings to mind the titles of the many papers Sid has published. One of these has a title that forewarns readers that they had better know their stuff before reading it. It is titled, “Internalization, Separation-Individuation and the Nature of Therapeutic Action”; another has a kind of poetic ring to it and is succinctly titled “A Cognitive Morphology of Psychopathology”; a third, the last for my purposes here is simply, or not so simply, titled, “Experiences of Depression in Normal Young Adults.” In each of these articles one finds oneself immersed in a great deal of clinical sensitivity and wisdom that makes reading the article a great pleasure and a

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