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Psychoanalytically Oriented Theories of Child Development

Psychoanalysis remains the most comprehensive psychological theory yet devised. It offers an explanation of psychological processes (the “model of the mind”), a developmental scheme (the psychosexual stages), and a method of treatment for mental and emotional disorders originating in experiences during the various stages of human development from infancy to adulthood. Beginning with the origins of psychoanalysis in the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud, this entry discusses the paths that psychoanalytically oriented theories of child development have taken from Freud’s time to the present day.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, viewed himself as a scientist and believed that his theories would eventually find confirmation in neurobiology. His Project for a Scientific Psychology (1895) was an attempt to ground the ...

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