Psychodynamic Approaches and Gender

Ever since its inception as a formal metapsychological theory and psychotherapeutic practice in the late 19th century, psychoanalysis has concerned itself with the development of the human personality and the role that gender plays in its formation. The earliest pioneering psychoanalysts considered a person’s gender identification and expression to be among the foundational components of their existence and sought to explain its formation in terms of familial dynamics, sociocultural influences, and generative tension between conscious and unconscious mental processes. As psychoanalysis itself has seen its boundaries expand to include a growing number of related but distinct schools of thought, so too have various theorists and clinicians from these schools offered an increasing variety of analytic definitions of gender, challenging earlier formations and offering new ...

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