After explaining the defence mechanisms - such as repression, projection and rationalization - by which we all make life easier to deal with, the author outlines how personality may be expected to develop in infancy, early childhood, the play age, the school age, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and old age. At each stage he asks: "What relationship, what issue concerns us most?, and describes satisfactory and unsatisfactory responses to each crisis. Psychological disturbances - and in many cases, moods and personality types we encounter daily - are interpreted as regressions from one stage of development to an earlier one. In this way Dr Lowe's book provides a framework within which to judge characteristics that defy neat labels.
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