In this chapter, we will be considering various ideas associated with the psychoanalytical approach to understanding the nature of people. We are selective in our sources, limiting ourselves to the work of Erikson (1948, 1977), Hollis (1964), Berne (1978) and Bowlby (1982, 1988), who have built on and developed Freudian theories in ways which have proved particularly attractive in social work. Our description of the theory will reflect a synthesis of many people’s ideas and insights, their terms and their language.
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