chapter  9
Character, Dyadic Enactments, and the Need for Symbiosis
Pages 12

Contemporary views about character pathology, the genesis of which precedes the era of infantile neuroses (a matter I discuss more fully in ch. 10), were probably crystallized as a result of the contribu­ tions of Kohut (1968, 1971 j see also Kohut and Wolf, 1978). His work highlighted the analytic finding that many persons who suffer &om character disturbances, particularly those wherein issues of self-esteem seem to play a prominent part, display in the transference mental dispositions formed during the pregenital phases of development. These often arise at the very dawn of self-awareness, in the second year of life. Although these dispositions are just as likely to be defended against by countermotives acquired later in development as are the repudiated impulses of the Oedipus complex, there is a substantial group of people whose personality disturbance manifests itself in the form of interpersonal attitudes, expectations, and habits of conduct of an archaic stamp.