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Reflections on the contributions of Sidney J. Blatt: The dialectical needs for autonomy, relatedness, and the emergence of epistemic trust

Luyten, P; Campbell, C; Fonagy, P; (2019) Reflections on the contributions of Sidney J. Blatt: The dialectical needs for autonomy, relatedness, and the emergence of epistemic trust. Psychoanalytic Psychology (In press).

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Abstract

This paper, written to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Sidney J. Blatt’s death, addresses the legacy of his work on autonomy and relatedness as fundamental dimensions in normal and disrupted personality development. We begin this paper by exploring what it was about Blatt’s contributions in this area that made it so resonant and valuable to the wide community of clinicians and academics. The second part of the paper reflects on how his thinking has influenced our own work concerning the origins of human subjectivity and its role in normal and disrupted development. We argue that our views concerning the role of attachment and mentalizing in developing the capacity for epistemic trust and salutogenesis are highly organized around Blatt’s conception of the human dilemma arising from the dialectical needs for relatedness and an autonomous, agentive self. We also discuss the similarities in our views concerning the parallel between normal developmental processes and the therapeutic process, with a focus on the importance of experiences of mutuality and understanding versus separation and misunderstanding in both.

Type: Article
Title: Reflections on the contributions of Sidney J. Blatt: The dialectical needs for autonomy, relatedness, and the emergence of epistemic trust
Publisher version: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/pap/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Depression, Object relations, Attachment theory, Personality, Mentalizing
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068333
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