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Freud, Darwin, and the holding environment.

Authors
  • Brockman, Richard
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry
Publisher
Guilford Publications
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2007
Volume
35
Issue
1
Pages
127–136
Identifiers
PMID: 17480194
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Freud's hypothesis of the neonate, derived from the data of adult psychoneurotic patients, was of a supremely narcissistic being who lived in a dreamlike state of hallucinatory satisfaction. A corollary hypothesis was that the neonate's drive to attach was learned and emerged only after the failure of wish fulfillment. These hypotheses provided the ground for Freud's theories of regression, dream, primary process, and pleasure principle. Darwin's data of the neonate, collected from his observations of a variety of mammals, led him to the conclusion that attachment in mammals is innate. Until 1969 and the work of John Bowlby, psychoanalytic thinking faithfully followed Freud. If psychoanalysis is to survive, then it must attach itself to data and discard any theories that are based on unproveable hypotheses, even if those hypotheses are Freud's.

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