The Growth Of The Mindby Stanley I. Greenspan, Beryl Lieff Benderly
This compelling book reveals the six fundamental levels that form the architecture of our minds. The growth of these levels, four of which are deeper even than the unconscious, depends on a series of critical but subtle emotional transactions between an infant and a devoted caregiver. In mapping these interactions, Dr. Greenspan formulates the elusive building… See more details below
This compelling book reveals the six fundamental levels that form the architecture of our minds. The growth of these levels, four of which are deeper even than the unconscious, depends on a series of critical but subtle emotional transactions between an infant and a devoted caregiver. In mapping these interactions, Dr. Greenspan formulates the elusive building blocks of creative and analytic thinking and provides an exciting missing link between recent discoveries in neuroscience and the qualities that make us most fully human. He also sounds a warning: these mind-building experiences are being eroded in child-rearing and educational practices. He offers specific solutions to restoring them in families, daycare, schools and in social policy.
Psychiatrist Greenspan (George Washington Univ. School of Medicine; The Essential Partnership, 1989, etc.) offers a multistage theory of emotional development that somewhat parallels Erik Erikson's theory of emotional growth. Greenspan argues that developmental theories based on the separation of reason and emotion are misguided: You can't have one without the other in the nurturing of a whole and healthy adult. As cognitive development proceeds from sensation-seeking to "operational" thinking, so emotional development proceeds from "making sense of sensation" through organizing symbols based on cues from caregivers to the ability to recognize and reflect on feelings and thoughts. Greenspan devotes the first part of the book to defining the six stages of emotional development that form the basic structure of our mind and tracing how they influence intelligence and awareness. The later chapters are devoted to tracing the consequences of stunted emotional development, from high divorce rates to street violence and even war. Along the way Greenspan discusses how mental health professionals, educators, and social service workers frequently miss the boat in trying to help troubled children and families. He puts a heavy stress on parental responsibility, emphasizing that emotionaland hence intellectualdevelopment must begin with an intense but sensitive and flexible one-to-one relationship between caregiver and infant, and asserting that the same caregiver should be present throughout infancy and childhood. Nevertheless, even teenagers stuck at early stages of emotional developmentunable to empathize with another, for instancecan pass along to reflective maturity with the help of a mentoring relationship that provides the requisite intensity and consistency.
Adds weight to recent efforts to legitimize early emotions as something far more than elements of a rich (but unproductive) fantasy life.
- Da Capo Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
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- Product dimensions:
- 0.78(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)
Meet the Author
Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., author of the widely used and praised books The Challenging Child and (with Serena Wieder, Ph.D.) Engaging Autism, is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and lives in Bethesda, Maryland. Beryl Lieff Benderly is the author of several books, including Dancing without Music: Deafness in America.
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