The Growth Of The Mind: And The Endangered Origins Of Intelligence

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9780201483024: The Growth Of The Mind: And The Endangered Origins Of Intelligence

Revealing the link between child development and social evolution, a psychiatrist examines six fundamental levels forming the architecture of the human mind and explains how fundamental early experience is endangered by social structures, impersonal technologies, and child-rearing patterns.

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About the Author:

Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., author of the widely used and praised books The Challenging Child and (with Serena Wieder, Ph.D.) Engaging Autism, is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and lives in Bethesda, Maryland. Beryl Lieff Benderly is the author of several books, including Dancing without Music: Deafness in America.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A plea that we should put our money where our mouth is in the service of raising emotionally secure and healthy children. Psychiatrist Greenspan (George Washington Univ. School of Medicine; The Essential Partnership, 1989, etc.) offers a multistage theory of emotional development that somewhat parallels Erik Erikson's theory of emotional growth. Greenspan argues that developmental theories based on the separation of reason and emotion are misguided: You can't have one without the other in the nurturing of a whole and healthy adult. As cognitive development proceeds from sensation-seeking to ``operational'' thinking, so emotional development proceeds from ``making sense of sensation'' through organizing symbols based on cues from caregivers to the ability to recognize and reflect on feelings and thoughts. Greenspan devotes the first part of the book to defining the six stages of emotional development that form the basic structure of our mind and tracing how they influence intelligence and awareness. The later chapters are devoted to tracing the consequences of stunted emotional development, from high divorce rates to street violence and even war. Along the way Greenspan discusses how mental health professionals, educators, and social service workers frequently miss the boat in trying to help troubled children and families. He puts a heavy stress on parental responsibility, emphasizing that emotional--and hence intellectual--development must begin with an intense but sensitive and flexible one-to-one relationship between caregiver and infant, and asserting that the same caregiver should be present throughout infancy and childhood. Nevertheless, even teenagers stuck at early stages of emotional development--unable to empathize with another, for instance--can pass along to reflective maturity with the help of a mentoring relationship that provides the requisite intensity and consistency. Adds weight to recent efforts to legitimize early emotions as something far more than elements of a rich (but unproductive) fantasy life. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Greenspan, Stanley I.
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