Quo Vadis? The Future of Psychoanalysis.

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Quo Vadis? The Future of Psychoanalysis.

Psychoanal Rev. 2016 Dec;103(6):793-817

Authors: Cortina M

Although contemporary psychoanalysis is split into different schools and traditions, there is growing support for some of the main tenets of contemporary psychodynamic thinking from attachment theory, infant research, developmental psychopathology, new models of motivation, the neuroscience of emotions and emotional regulation, and the discovery of different implicit and explicit memory systems. These tenets, which psychodynamic clinicians of all stripes encounter in their daily work with clients, are the following: (1) that large footprints are left over from infancy and childhood which involved insensitive, intrusive, frightening, or shaming care; (2) the carryover of these relational experiences into adulthood are expressed as unconscious expectations and attributions we make of others (transference and countertransference; (3) defensive processes and emotional regulation and deregulatory patterns develop to cope with these unhealthy relations. Many findings from infant research, attachment theory, and new models of motivation and neuroscience have developed alongside the intersubjective and relational turn in psychoanalysis in the last sixty years. To different degrees this new developmental science has been incorporated into the relational field. This essay is a plea to incorporate this new science in the teaching of psychodynamic psychotherapy in order to create a dialogue among different relational and intersubjective traditions in psychoanalysis that could reduce the splintering and support efforts toward integration.

PMID: 27893345 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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