Focus on Affect

Carek, Donald J.
July 1978
Clinical Pediatrics;Jul1978, Vol. 17 Issue 7, p574
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the pediatrician and empathic confrontation. A pediatrician may conclude that to be effective with behavior problems he only needs to learn psychologic theory of personality functioning in order to help him understand why people act as they do. The psychoanalysts have taught in terms of psychosexual stages that is oral, anal, oedipai, latency and adolescence. While these psychodynamic frameworks have something to offer, their promise has exceeded their actual utility in pediatric practice. Too often they have remained abstract conceptualizations, not concrete enough for clinical application, so that they have gone into disfavor as merely interesting fantasies or myths that do not reflect reality. Ready to take their place has been behaviorism, with its emphasis on maladaptive symptoms as learned behavior. Positive reinforcement of desired behavior has been the essence of this new credo. But the attraction of this new emphasis wanes because it is less effective than its zealots first promised it to be.


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