The Relational Tradition
Title: The Relational Tradition: Landscape and Canon
Author: Adrienne E. Harris
Abstract: This essay charts the origins, influences, and evolution of the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. Considering the theoretical and philosophical influences from nineteenth-century Americans like William James and C. S Pierce, and noting the seminal modern work of Steven Mitchell and Jay Greenberg in opening a critique of one-person focused drive theory, the essay follows developments over a quarter century. Hallmarks of the relational approach—social construction, two-person psychologies, multiple self-states, social regulation and construction of identities like gender and sexual orientation, and an evolving theory of clinical practice—are reviewed. New developments in clinical theory, in the study of identity categories, in the work on embodiment and enactment, and in developmental models are also reviewed.
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