Interface of Psychoanalysis and Psychology

By James W. Barron; Morris N. Eagle et al. | Go to book overview

18
RELATEDNESS AND SELF-DEFINITION:
TWO PRIMARY DIMENSIONS IN PERSONALITY
DEVELOPMENT, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, AND
PSYCHOTHERAPY

SIDNEY J. BLATT

RACHEL B. BLASS

In this chapter we present a theoretical model that considers personality development as proceeding through the simultaneous development of two basic capacities: the ability to establish increasingly mature and satisfying interpersonal relationships (relatedness) and the development of an increasingly differentiated, integrated, essentially positive concept of the self (self-definition). We demonstrate how this theoretical model of personality development provides an effective way of conceptualizing various forms of psychopathology as disruptions of normal developmental processes and how these psychoanalytic formulations of personality development and psychopathology facilitate research on depression and the study of psychotherapy change.


THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES

Personality development is the result of a complex transaction of two fundamental developmental lines : the development of increasingly mature, reciprocal, and satisfying interpersonal relationships, and the development of a consolidated, realistic, essentially positive, increasingly integrated self-definition or identity. These two developmental lines normally evolve throughout the life cycle in a complex dialectical process. The development of an increasingly differentiated, integrated, and mature sense of self is contingent upon establishing satisfying interpersonal experiences and, conversely, the development of increasingly mature and satisfying interpersonal

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