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This volume is the first major expansion of the interpersonal theory of psychiatry since the death of Harry Stack Sullivan. The authors, who are husband and wife, are directors of the Sullivan Institute for Research in Psychoanalysis. In addition to drawing in a major way on Sullivan's formulations, the authors were influenced by the particular approach of Drs. Frieda Fromm-Reichman, Erich Fromm, and Clara Thompson.
The central idea of this book is that the life history of any particular individual can only be understood by the quality of his relatedness with significant people. The therapist is the agent who will help catalyze or impede the forces within the individual towards growth. The authors delineate the elements which need affirmation in order for human capacities to be realized.
The text is divided into five sections: the structure of personality, normal sequence in interpersonal growth, love and hate, diagnostic categories in interpersonal
Lunsky LL. The Conditions of Human Growth.. Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(6):1007–1008. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860060219052
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