The role of relationship in the treatment of autism: perspectives from relationship development intervention and psychotherapy
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Psychoanalytic theory has had a controversial history in working with autism, being considered by many, in the light of modern research, to be fundamentally misconceived. This view has been challenged by Hobson’s work and research, which suggests that psychoanalytic theory complements rather than conflicts with emerging theory on autism. Gutstein’s work has been in developing Hobson’s (and other’s) hypotheses around autism into a clinical programme for remediating autism. In this dissertation, a psychoanalytic history is briefly reviewed, followed by a modified systematic literature review of both Hobson and Gutstein’s work. Similarities of Gutstein’s programme to psychoanalytic theory and practice are discussed, and areas where each could contribute to the other are explored, along with suggestions for further research, particularly in the area of episodic memory.