The concept of the representational world, first devised to accommodate the research data of the Hampstead Index and intended to supplement the structural point of view, has since expanded into a central conceptual tool of contemporary psychoanalysis. As developed by the Sandlers, affective states and experiences are the core of all mental representations, giving psychological meaning, force, and direction to the objects represented. The emphasis on affective components, conscious and unconscious, has enriched psychoanalysis by fostering communication with neighboring disciplines. A clinical vignette illustrates the embeddedness of affective valences in internal representations.
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Document Type: Research Article
Stephen B. Tobin and Dr. Arnold M. Cooper Professor Emeritus in Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, Weill-Cornell Medical College; Training and Supervising Analyst, Columbia Psychoanalytic Center
Publication date: April 15, 2005