Document Detail

The question of drive vs. motive in psychoanalysis: a modest proposal.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19628732     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This essay explores the possibility of an alternative hypothesis to the prevailing psychoanalytic instinctual drive theory whose theoretical and clinical validity has been variously critiqued and challenged. Arguments are suggested in support of the concept of motive as a viable alternative theory to the drive theory and as a replacement for the traditional instinctual drive model. Issues discussed include the understanding of the mind-body relation, the meaning of psychic determinism and overdetermination, the opposition of drive vs. motive (and the related distinction of cause vs. motive), the meaning of psychic energy, and the difference between the concept of drives as the source of all mental energy and the concept of personal agency. The discussion concludes with some observations on the clinical implications of these concepts.
W W Meissner
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article     Date:  2009-07-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association     Volume:  57     ISSN:  0003-0651     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2009 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-09-02     Completed Date:  2009-10-19     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505579     Medline TA:  J Am Psychoanal Assoc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  807-45     Citation Subset:  IM    
Psychoanalytic Institute of New England East, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aggression / psychology
Defense Mechanisms
Freudian Theory
Mind-Body Relations (Metaphysics)
Neurotic Disorders / psychology,  therapy
Object Attachment
Psychoanalytic Theory*
Psychoanalytic Therapy

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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