This important new book presents a comprehensive integration of psychoanalytic theories of human development from Freud to the present, showing their implications for the evaluation and treatment of children and adults. Phyllis Tyson and Robert L. Tyson not only review the literature on emotional growth but also provide a developmental theory of their own, one that examines psychosexual development in the context of a number of other simultaneously evolving systems—emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and social—all of which work in relation to one another in a dynamic way. The authors describe the developmental sequences of these systems and how they coalesce to form the human personality.
The Tysons view development as it occurs rather than retrospectively from reconstructions of earlier life experience. They begin by tracing the history of this perspective, describing the developmental process, then critically reviewing psychoanalytic theories of development. The authors present developmental sequences for psychosexuality, object relations, the sense of self, affect, cognition, the superego, gender identity, and the ego. Throughout they maintain a central and orienting focus on the intrapsychic—on what happens in the mind as it evolves. In contrast to recent psychoanalytic emphases on interpersonal aspects of early development, they view perceived and felt interpersonal interactions as working in conjunction with innate factors to provide the basis for the internal world. According to the Tysons, it is the evolution and elaboration of this internal world that is the domain of psychoanalytic theory of development.