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The noted infant psychiatrist brings together exciting research on infants and the insights of psychoanalysis to offer an original theory of how human beings create a sense of themselves and their relation to others. Stern argues that infants differentiate themselves almost from birth and then progress through increasingly complex modes of relatedness. The book challenges the notion that certain tasks are confined to infancy: attachment, trust, and dependency are clinical issues through life, Stern maintains. How do babies experience the world around them? How do they bring together the varied sights, sounds, and sensations to create a social environment? These questions have long intrigued students of human development, but until recently we have had to rely on adult memories to imagine what infants think and feel. Now, in this brilliant book, famed infant psychiatrist Daniel Stern brings together the exciting new research on infants and the insights of psychoanalysis to offer an original theory of how human beings create a sense of themselves and their relation to others. Unlike those who view early development as a gradual process of separation and individuation, Stern argues that infants differentiate themselves almost from birth and then progress through increasingly complex modes of relatedness. He describes this process in fascinating detail, vividly showing how infants and their caregivers communicate and share their experience. Stern challenges not only the traditional developmental sequence but also the notion that certain tasks are confined to infancy. Attachment, trust, and dependency are clinical issues throughout life, he contendsa concept that has important implications for psychoanalytic practice. Elegantly argued and rich in new insights, The Interpersonal World of the Infant is certain to be welcomed as a major contribution to our understanding of infancy and of psychological development throughout the life cycle.
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'This book is essential reading for everyone interested in psychoanalysis and for every therapist who has the responsibility for helping a patient to understand and alter his or her life.'- Arnold M. Cooper, M.D., The New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center'Dan Stern - scientist, psychoanalyst, and first-rate science writer - takes us on an enchanted journey to those magical years when the sense of self emerges. He puts subjectivity and intersubjectivity where they belong, at the center of psychological inquiry. On the way, he synthesizes a bold new theory outlining an emergent self, a core self, a subjective self, and a verbal self, and relates this theory to important therapeutic questions. This is a landmark volume that is essential reading for clinicians, researchers and anyone else interested in an original and provocative perspective on human development.'- Ethel Person, M.D., Columbia University'This enormously important book explores in rich and fascinating detail the relationships between the psychoanalytic and the experimental traditions. What emerges is not merely a piecing together of insights but a radically new and fresh way of looking at the social and emotional world of infants. We have here the core of a powerful new theory that can inform our understanding for years to come. The book blends the subtlety of observation with the rigor of experimentation and excites the reader at almost every page.'- Joseph Glick, Ph.D., Graduate Center, City University of New York'An important book by a leading clinician and researcher. Daniel Stern combines a clinical and experimental approach in exploring whether early experience is critical in setting the stage for optimal development or in endangering the child's future. And in doing this he brings up-to-date the threads of thinking in infancy research, psychoanalysis, and child development.'- T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Harvard Medical School'As both a clinician and an imaginative researcher with infants and mothers, Daniel Stern has been in the forefront of these advances. His splendid book will be welcomed by every thinking clinician.'- John Bowlby M.D.About 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 centre-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.
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