Primitive Mental States: A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Origins of Meaning

1st Edition

Jane Van Buren, Shelley Alhanati

Published December 21, 2009
Reference - 240 Pages
ISBN 9780415468947 - CAT# Y103264

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Traditional psychoanalysis relies on the presence of certain meaning-making capacities in the patient for its effectiveness. Primitive Mental States examines how particular capacities including those for symbolising, fantasising, dreaming, experiencing and finding meanings in those experiences, can be taken for granted. Many of us lack these capacities in certain dimensions of our minds making traditional psychoanalysis ineffective.

In this book, international contributors are brought together to consider a radical evolution in contemporary psychoanalytic theory developed from a combination of ultrasound studies, infant analysis, and observation of mothers and babies. These findings demonstrate how much mental life exists even before birth and considers unevolved, unborn and barely born aspects of the self such as the birth of emotion and the birth of alpha functioning.

Topics covered include:

  • prenatal imprints on the mind and body
  • difficult to treat patients
  • non-verbal, non-symbolic, disembodied states of being
  • early relational and attachment trauma.

Illustrated throughout with original data and extensive clinical discussions from some of the biggest names in the field, Primitive Mental States will be a useful resource for students and seasoned analysts alike.


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