The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology / Edition 1

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A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental PsychologyChallenging the traditional developmental sequence as well as the idea that issues of attachment, dependency, and trust are confined to infancy, Stern integrates clinical and experimental science to support his revolutionizing vision of the social and emotional life of the youngest children, which has had spiraling implications for theory, research, and practice. A new introduction by the author celebrates this first paperback edition.

Noted psychiatrist Daniel Stern brings together exciting new research on infants and the insights of psychoanalysis to offer an original theory of how humans create a sense of themselves and others. "This dazzling book represents a truly original, perhaps revolutionary contribution to psychodynamic theory and practice."--Arnold Cooper, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Notes, Diagrams/Charts and Index.

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What People Are Saying

John Bowlby
"His splendid book will be welcomed by every thinking clinician."
T. Berry Brazelton
"An important book by a leading clinician and researcher."
Arnold M. Cooper
"Essential reading for anyone interested in psychoanalysis and for every therapist who has the responsibility for helping a patient to understand and alter his or her life."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465095896
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 582,917
  • Lexile: 1310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel N. Stern, M.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of Geneva and adjunct professor of psychiatry at Cornell University Medical Center–New York Hospital. An expert in the mother-infant relationship, he is the author of The Interpersonal World of the Infant and The Diary of a Baby.Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, M.D., is a pediatrician and child psychiatrist in Geneva, Switzerland. Alison Freeland, a freelance writer and the author of The Journey to Motherhood, currently works as a reporter for Vermont Public Radio.
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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Paperback Edition
Pt. I The Questions and Their Background
Ch. 1 Exploring the Infant's Subjective Experience: A Central Role for the Sense of Self 3
Ch. 2 Perspectives and Approaches to Infancy 13
Pt. II The Four Senses of Self
Ch. 3 The Sense of an Emergent Self 37
Ch. 4 The Sense of a Core Self: I. Self versus Other 69
Ch. 5 The Sense of a Core Self: II. Self with Other 100
Ch. 6 The Sense of a Subjective Self: I. Overview 124
Ch. 7 The Sense of a Subjective Self: II. Affect Attunement 138
Ch. 8 The Sense of a Verbal Self 162
Pt. III Some Clinical Implications
Ch. 9 The "Observed Infant" as Seen with a Clinical Eye 185
Ch. 10 Some Implications for the Theories Behind Therapeutic Reconstructions 231
Ch. 11 Implications for the Therapeutic Process of Reconstructing a Developmental Past 256
Epilogue 275
Bibliography 278
Index 295
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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    Immense Clinical Implications

    Thirty-four years in "the game;" twenty-two of them with some form of certification or license. I told someone else in the game I was into the developmentalists. She said, "Read this."

    There are good books, great books, and life changers. For me, TIWOTI is somewhere between the latter categories. (I'd give it =six= stars if I could.)

    Stern not only effectively built a case for a very solid, neo-neo-Freudian nosology of very early life development, he ties it all together with what it needs to be tied up =to=: the clinical implications for those who will deal with the results... of the pre-cognitive core self, of a new way of looking at attachment, of maternal attunement, of purposeful consciousness, of agency, of the formation of the verbal symbolic -- and thus =cognitive= -- self.

    His notion of the "observed" -- as opposed to "theoretical" -- infant could only have been devised in the new era of computer-facilitated, empirical research that had dawned in the decade preceding the first edition (1985). He makes no assertions without grounding them in statistics.

    For those of us who thought we had it all "down" with the great Erik Erikson, John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Margaret Mahler, Melanie Klein, Don Winnicott and Diana Baumrind, this will come as a real eye-opener. Because Stern can =see= into the developing mind by virtue of a rigorous means of empirical observation.

    Many (though by no means all) of the pure Freudian and British Object Relations theories fall like flies before a can of Flit. Here =is= the platform Terry Brazelton, Alan Schore and my cross-town colleague David Seigel had to climb up upon to provide us with all the hugely valuable insights they have added since this book fell in their laps.

    Stern argues for parallel and continuous, rather than discrete and staged, ego development. He presents us with a neonate and infant who is "working on himself" at every level that his continuing neurological maturation makes possible for him. No linear phases of "trust here" or "autonomy there" or "initiative over there" (though I continue to =observe= that these processes and acquitions influence each other). He and his associates and contributors see =all= of the supposed Erikson stages in process from the git in =cyclical= and interactive, rather than linear and stair-step fashion.

    (Watch a five-month old =after= you've read this. It's all so self-evident, I wonder now how I missed it for so long.)

    His notions about the socializing influence of maternal mis-attunement rooted in the mother's own socialized "false self" had such immense ramifications for those of us who deal with borderlines and other dissociatives that I had to put the book down and wander around for a half hour in a daze of inter-hemispheric computation on that =alone=.

    "Gradually, with the cooperation between the parent and the child, the false self becomes established as a semantic construction made of linguistic propositions about who one is and what one does and experiences. The true self becomes a conglomerate of disavowed experiences of self which =cannot be linguistically encoded=."

    It hardly =gets= any more "essential" than that.

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