The Primary Triangle: A Developmental Systems View of Mothers, Fathers, and Infants

The Primary Triangle: A Developmental Systems View of Mothers, Fathers, and Infants

The Primary Triangle: A Developmental Systems View of Mothers, Fathers, and Infants

The Primary Triangle: A Developmental Systems View of Mothers, Fathers, and Infants

Synopsis

Based on widely acclaimed research never before collected into a single volume, The Primary Triangle will satisfy a growing interest among clinicians and academicians in understanding the developmental alliances that are formed between parents and children.

Heretofore, the primary model of study was based upon the interaction of mother and infant. The Primary Triangle proposes an entirely original scenario by which to understand and treat the family unit: mother-father-infant. The authors provide a complex research paradigm for examining the interactional triangles formed in the family in the early years. The Primary Triangle -- which Daniel Stern has called "a groundbreaking book of exceptional importance" -- will have major implications for child and family researchers as well as clinicians.

Excerpt

I believe that this book will become a classic for both clinicians and researchers. The history of our understanding of the family is curious. Until now, very few researchers have given detailed, rigorous attention to the earliest origins of the primary triangle—that is, the family. Traditional psychoanalytic approaches largely had the primary triangle enter the developmental scene when the child began the oedipal phase at around three to four years of age. Effectively, the serious history of the family triangle as a central issue began only at that time.

In systemic and family theory and practice, the family hardly has an origin at all. In this approach, the initial impetus to understand families emerged when the schizophrenic adolescent and his family came under clinical focus. This provided the original paradigm in family systems theory. Since this beginning, families with younger children have been studied and to great advantage. But again, as with psychodynamic theory, the earliest history of the family was never placed at center stage of the inquiry.

The result of this particular history is that we have evolved extremely important theories about families and powerful therapeutic methods to treat them, but there is a gap concerning the early beginning of the primary triangle. We have a field without a well-understood developmental origin.

It is exactly here that this book fills in the missing pieces of the whole picture. It provides a clinical perspective founded on extremely rigorous research focused on the development of the primary triangle from the earliest months of the baby's life. It addresses this question at many levels of organization, from a minute, behavorial microanalysis to global clinical patterns. In so doing it shows the behavioral and narrative structures that underlie . . .

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