TUESDAY, June 6, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

PSYCHOANALYTIC DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY:
IN SEARCH OF A NEW PARADIGM

presenter: Karen Gilmore, M.D.
discussant: Robert Michels, M.D.

This paper attempts to answer the question: What is psychoanalytic developmental theory? As new paradigms have arisen from infancy and cognitive research and from the changing scientific zeitgeist, it is even less clear what is meant by this term. Nonetheless, the author asserts that all psychoanalysts rely on their (often unarticulated) notions of how mental life develops, how childhood experience impacts personality, and how developmental challenges affect the emergence of symptomatology. She suggests that we need to acknowledge the fundamental principles that identify a psychoanalytic approach to development and to avoid some of the pitfalls that have plagued psychoanalytic developmental theory historically. This “post-modern” theory should be able to keep pace with advances in developmental research as well as in psychoanalytic theorizing.

Pamela Meersand, PhD will present case material from the analysis of a 12 year old girl as a framework for discussion.