This volume explores the primitive yet complex emotional world of the baby, a preverbal world that predates memory, symbolic representation, self-reflection, and verbal description. Author Ivri Kumin describes the impact of early relational experiences on the foundation of emotional living, when traumatic developmental interferences can disrupt the infant's emerging capacity for representational thought. Using detailed clinical examples, he explains how these early experiences are enacted within the psychoanalytic situation and how their analysis and mediation enable the patient to think about and emotionally encompass these states for the first time.
Multidisciplinary in his approach, the author integrates infant observational studies and attachment theory with psychoanalytic developmental perspectives. He explores the core concepts of the three major psychoanalytic theories: signal anxiety (ego psychology), projective identification (object relations theory), and affect attunement (self psychology), and explains the unity of their underlying modes of action on the basis of contemporary infant research. The book then applies its understanding of early relatedness to a wide variety of psychoanalytic issues of both theoretical and clinical importance.
Part I of the volume examines the basic language of primary relatedness. Topics covered include early attachment, precursors of internalized object relationships, signal anxiety, and environmental mediation. Chapters in Part II discuss affect transmission, the nature of emotional exchanges in the psychoanalytic situation, fields of identity, creation of representability, and the psychoanalytic mediation of primitive emotional states. Part III addresses pathology, including in-depth examinations of disturbances of pre-object relatedness, ambivalent and avoidant relatedness, the repetition compulsion, trauma and enactment, and the effect of incorrect interpretations.
Synthesizing empirical findings with theoretical and clinical information, this volume is invaluable for psychoanalysts and psychodynamic therapists. It is an ideal text for graduate-level courses in psychoanalytic theory and technique, attachment theory, human development, and psychotherapy of early traumatic states.
"This is the best compilation and synthesis of current knowledge of infant and mother/infant development available today. I have found it invaluable in teaching psychoanalytic candidates theories of early infant development, and have also found it extremely useful in understanding the genesis of character formation in borderline disorders and disorders of narcissism."
--Charles A. Mangham, M.D. "This is an important book. Dr. Kumin has successfully undertaken a much needed integration of current findings in infancy research with psychoanalytic thinking, combining empirical findings with theory and clinical experience in a most impressive way." --Anne-Marie Sandler, Director, The Anna Freud Centre
"Drawing on a wide spectrum of psychoanalytic theories, empirical research data, and clinical findings, Kumin has constructed a rich phenomenology of the earliest phase in the development of the subjective world, an account that will be invaluable to all therapists who seek to treat archaic mental states." --Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.
"An excellent, important, and most useful book....This is the 30th anniversary of my graduation from the Institute, but this volume is the single most helpful book in improving my work....The best psychoanalytic book I have read in a long time, the book will enrich any analyst's practice.... BRAVO!" --Henry Krystal, M.D.
"Ivri Kumin has managed to conceptualize the preverbal, mental world of the infant and to show its later ramifications, particularly in the transference of the psychoanalytic situation. His book will be of great aid to psychoanalysts and other depth psychotherapists in their task as healers." --Arthur W. Epstein, M.D.
..".an excellent survey of the literature on mother/infant interaction in the first year of life. ...Easily readable and packed with cogent excerpts from the literature. This tightly woven quality stimulates the reader to reflect on every page and apply what Kumin has written to clinical material, both current and past. I highly recommend this book for all analysts who want to understand the theoretical developmental background of character pathology and the pathology of borderline and psychotic patients. It also should prove to be a valuable took in teaching infant observation to students of both child and adult analysis." --Charles A Mangham, MD, Seattle Institute for Psychoanalysis, Winter 1996 ""Pre-Object Relatedness" will be of interest to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic therapists who work with individuals suffering from early developmentally interferences and trauma, and for those whose patients are regressed to states of primary relatedness in the transference." --The "Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Review"
"[A] thought-provoking, sophisticated book." --"Psychoanalytic Social Work "
"In this neglected field of research, few analytic authors have contributed such a wealth of insight and material for future study as does Kumin in this volume." --"Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association"