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How Do People Form Attachments? An Account by Bowlby

Freud found that people were motivated by two basic needs: hunger and libido (i.e. desires / aggression). Bowlby added a third basic need to this list: the need to attach to others. Bowlby based this discovery on his research and on evidence from the fields of biology and the study of animals. One of Freud’s […]

What Are the Infant’s Phases of Separation From the Parent? An Account by Margaret Mahler

In her seminal research on the mother-child relationship, Margaret Mahler observed the baby develop from a state of “symbiotic” dependence on the mother to a state of exploration and progressive separation.  In the 1950s, Margaret Mahler founded a child studies center in NYC where she and her team observed, recorded and analyzed the interactions of […]

Relationship 101: The Power of Validation

Validation and empathy are often mistaken one for the other but they are not the same. Empathy is an internal process and validation is an interpersonal act. Validation can be a powerful skill in defusing arguments between partners.   Validation and empathy are often used interchangeably but they are distinct. Empathy is the ability to put […]

What Are The Phases of Psychological Development? Accounts by Freud and Erikson

Freud and Erikson put forward distinct accounts of how people’s psyches develop. They agreed on the time frame for the phases of psychological development but their accounts of what happened during each such phase differed. Read on to learn in what ways. One of Freud’s important contributions to the field of psychology was to posit […]

Pros and Cons of Self-Defeating Behaviors

Ally and Rob have been dating for a year. They get into a big fight the day before Valentine’s Day. Ally decides to cut off all contact with Rob the following day. What are the pros and cons of her decision? Why people make decisions that are manifestly against their own self-interest is a question […]