The development of narcissism and masochism is examined by utilizing new data from movement observation, in general, and from observations and notation of fetal movement, in particular. This has led to the recognition that fetal movements are motor precursors of psychic functioning. The suggestion is made that both narcissism and masochism have their Anlage in utero. Because the fetus primarily grows and achieves progressive integration, the ratio between his integration and self-destruction favors the former. The birth struggle occasions a breach of integration which sways the balance in favor of masochism at birth. Primary narcissism, the psychic reflection of growth in the total organism, comes to a peak in various phases of growth. Each developmental crisis which occurs in transition between one phase and the next is marked by a decline of narcissism; its reappearance occurs when a new growth of organs or functions comes to a peak. Some relevant psychoanalytic theories and fetal movement studies are cited. A vocabulary of the Kestenberg movement categories is briefly explained in order to help envisage the relationship of movement patterns to psychic development.
Balint, M. (1968). The Basic Fault. London: Tavistock Publications.
Birnholz, J.C., Stephens, J.C & Faria, M. (1978). Fetal movement patterns: A possible means of defining neurologic developmental milestones in utero. Am. J. Roentgenol 130: 537-540.
Ferenczi, S. (1923). Thalasscu A Theory of Genitality. New York: Norton.
Freud, A. (1962). The emotional and social development of young children. The Writings of Anna Freud New York: International Universities Press, 1969, 5: 336-351.
Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Standard Edition, 8: 3-66. London: Hogarth Press, 1955.
Graves, P.L. (1980). The functioning fetus. In: The Course of Life: Psychoanalytic Contributions Toward Understanding Personality Development Vol I. edited by S.L. Greenspan and G.H. Pollock. Adelphi, MD: National Institute of Mental Health.
Green, A. (1986). On Private Madness. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.
Grunberger, B. (1979). Narcissism,- Psychoanalytic Essays. New York: International Universities Press.
Hartmann, H. (1939). 'Ichpsychologie und Anpassungsproblem'. Engl, trans.: Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation. New York: International Universities Press, 1958.
Kestenberg, J.S. (1967). The role of movement patterns in development III. The control of shape. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36: 356-409.
(1975). Children and Parents. New York: J. Aronson, Inc.
(1987). Imagining and remembering. Israel J. of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 24/4: 229-241.
(1988). Memories from early childhood. Psychoanalytic Review, 75/4: 561-571.
Kestenberg, J.S. & Sossin, K.M. (1979). The Role of Movement Patterns in Development II. New York: Dance Notation Bureau.
Laibow, R.E. (1989). Prenatal and perinatal experience and developmental impairment. In: Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, edited by Peter Fedor-Freybergh and M.L. Vanessa Vogel. Park Ridge, NJ: Parthenon Publishing Group.
Leboyer, F. (1976). Birth Without Violence New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Milakovic, I. (1967). The hypothesis of a deglutitive (prenatal) stage in libidinal development. International J. of Psycho-Analysis, 48: 76-82.
Milani Comparetti. A. (1981). The neuro physiological and clinical implications of studies on fetal motor behavior. Sem. Perinatal, 5: 183-189.
Rascovsky, A. (1956). Beyond the Oral Stage. Int. J. Psychoanalysis 37: 4-5.
Verny, T. (1981). Secret Life of the Unborn Child New York: Summit.
Judith S. Kestenberg, M.D. & Estelle Horowitz, Ph.D.
Dr. Kestenberg is a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University. She was a supervising and training analyst for adults and children at New York University and is on the psychiatric staff of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y. Dr. Kestenberg is one of the original founders and organizers of Child Development Research which sponsors three projects: The Sidney L. Green Pre-Natal Project, the Center for Parents and Children in Roslyn Estates, N.Y. and the "Jerome Riker International Study of the Organized Persecution of Children" of which she is the Project Director. She is also the founder of the "Group for the Psychoanalytic Study of the Effect of the Holocaust on the second Generation." Address correspondence to 30 Soundview Lane, Sands Point, New York.
Estelle Borowitz is in private practice in psychoanalysis, Port Washington, N.Y. and Manhattan. Faculty and Supervisor, Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. Editor, Modern Psychoanalysis. Board of Trustees, Association for Modern Psychoanalysis and Society for Modern Psychoanalysis.
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.