Just as psychoanalytic interest in masochism dates from the earliest days of psychoanalysis, the various approaches to its understanding have reflected the developmental vicissitudes of psychoanalytic theory as it moved from its early focus on instinct to considerations of psychic structure and oedipall dynamics, object relations, separation-individuation, self-organization, and self-esteem regulation, and as it progressed into more systematic investigation of child development.
Masochism: Current Psychoanalytic Perspectives offers an updated review of perspectives on masochism influence by current developments in psychoanalytic research and theory. The newer emphasis on and investigations of early preoedipal events have, as Cooper stresses in this volume, provided a significant scientific and clinical yield. The application of these newer perspectives to the issue of masochism holds considerable promise.
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