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Peter Blos (1904–1997)

Publishing Era (1941–1998)
  • Joseph Palombo
  • Barry J. Koch
  • Harold K. Bendicsen
Chapter

Abstract

Peter Blos was born on February 2, 1904 in Karlsruhe, Germany, to Edwin Blos and Eva Lewinstein-Blos. His father was a doctor who inspired Peter by speaking often about the spiritual teachings of Gandhi and Luther. Eva had a large circle of friends, and particularly liked dancing and acting. Blos himself later developed interests in artistic pursuits such as music, craftsmanship, and poetry. Blos flourished in this highly stimulating intellectual environment. His uncle, Georg Friedrich Nicolai (Eva’s brother) was Edwin’s best friend. Nicolai achieved fame as an ardent protester of World War I. His book The Biology of War, written in 1915, was one of the most powerful antiwar documents of its time. The book was unique in its intellectual prowess and audacity, having been written by a German living in Germany who attacked the illusion of German moral and cultural superiority. It was thus considered highly subversive by the German government (Zuelzer, 1982) . Blos became close friend with Erik Homberger (who later changed his last name to Erikson) at age 16, when they met in high school. Wishing to become a science teacher, Blos enrolled in the University of Heidelberg’s department of education. After earning his teaching certificate in 1925, Eva Rosenfeld, a friend of the Blos family, introduced Blos to Anna Freud. Anna Freud recommended him as a tutor to Bob Burlingham (the eldest child of Dorothy Burlingham), who was in psychoanalysis with Anna Freud. He also tutored the other Burlingham children. Anna Freud offered Blos the position of director of the Hietzing Schule, which he accepted (Houssier, 2002) . She also offered him a free “didactic analysis” (training analysis), which he declined. In part, this reticence may have been due to his discomfort with the fact that Anna Freud was analyzing one of her best friend’s children. Blos invited his friend Erik Erikson to assist him as a teacher at the school (Motto, 1972) ; there the psychoanalyst August Aichhorn, who had a particular interest in treating delinquent children, became his mentor (Houssier, 2002) . During this period, he also met and married his wife, Marta Grone, a Swedish woman whose father was a physician.

Keywords

Adolescence Adolescence proper Asceticism Bisexual Character Drive organization Early adolescence Homosexual defense Incomplete adolescence Late adolescence Latency Miscarried adolescence Postadolescence Preadolescence Pregenitality Preoedipal mother Second individuation process Uniformism 

References

  1. Blos, P. (1941). The adolescent personality: A study of individual behavior. The American Journal of Sociology, 47(2), 234–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blos, P. (1962). On adolescence: A psychoanalytic interpretation. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  3. Blos, P. (1965). The initial stage of male adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 20, 145–164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Blos, P. (1967). The second individuation process of adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 22, 162–186.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Blos, P. (1968). Character formation in adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 23, 245–263.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Blos, P. (1979). The adolescent passage: Developmental issues. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  7. Blos, P. (1981). Psychoanalytic perspectives on the ‘more disturbed’ adolescent. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 29, 161–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blos, P. (1985). Son and father: Before and beyond the Oedipus complex. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  9. Blos, P. (1987). The borderline and severely neurotic child. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 35, 189–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  22. Houssier, F. (2002). Le rôle de l’ immigration dans le parcours d’ E.H. Erikson et de P. Blos (Erik Erikson and Peter Blos: The role of immigration in their travels.) Topique, 80, 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  25. Mahler, M. S. (1963). Thoughts about development and individuation. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 8, 307–324.Google Scholar
  26. Motto, L. R. (1972). An appreciation: Peter Blos. The Reiss-Davis Clinic Bulletin, 9, 66–68.Google Scholar
  27. Zuelzer, W. (1982). The Nicolai case. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar

Major Works

  1. Blos, P. (1941). The adolescent personality: A study of individual behavior. The American Journal of Sociology, 47(2), 234–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blos, P. (1954). Prolonged male adolescence: The formulation of a syndrome and its therapeutic implications. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 24, 733–742.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blos, P. (1958). Preadolescent drive organization. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 6, 47–56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blos, P. (1962). On adolescence: A psychoanalytic interpretation. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Blos, P. (1965). The initial stage of male adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 20, 145–164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Blos, P. (1967). The second individuation process of adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 22, 162–186.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Blos, P. (1968). Character formation in adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 23, 245–263.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Blos, P. (1970). The young adolescent: Clinical studies. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  9. Blos, P. (1971). The child analyst looks at the young adolescent. Daedalus 100, 961–978.Google Scholar
  10. Blos, P. (1972a). The function of the ego ideal in adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 27, 93–97.Google Scholar
  11. Blos, P. (1972b). The epigenesis of the adult neurosis. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 27, 106–135.Google Scholar
  12. Blos, P. (1972c). Silence: A clinical exploration. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 41, 348–363.Google Scholar
  13. Blos, P. (1974a). Twelve to sixteen: Early adolescence. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 43, 331–333.Google Scholar
  14. Blos, P. (1974b). The geneology of the ego ideal. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 29, 43–88.Google Scholar
  15. Blos, P. (1976a). The split parental imago in adolescent social relations-an inquiry into group psychology. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 31, 7–33.Google Scholar
  16. Blos, P. (1976b). When and how does adolescence end? Adolescent Psychiatry, 5, 5–17.Google Scholar
  17. Blos, P. (1979). The adolescent passage: Developmental issues. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  18. Blos, P. (1980). Modifications in the traditional psychoanalytic theory of female adolescent development. Adolescent Psychiatry, 8, 8–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Blos, P. (1981). Psychoanalytic perspectives on the “more disturbed” adolescent. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 29, 161–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Blos,P. (1983). The contribution of psychoanalysis to the psychotherapy of adolescents. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 38, 577–600.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Blos, P. (1984). Son and father. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 32, 301–324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Blos, P. (1985a). Son and father: Before and beyond the Oedipus complex. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  23. Blos, P. (1985b). Intergenerational separation-individuation-treating the mother-infant pair. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 40, 41–56.Google Scholar
  24. Blos, P. (1987a). Freud and the father complex. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 42, 425–441.Google Scholar
  25. Blos, P. (1987b). The borderline and severely neurotic child. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 35, 189–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Supplementary Readings

  1. Esman, A. H. (1997). Obituary: Peter Blos. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78, 813–814.Google Scholar
  2. Houssier, F. (2002). Le rôle de l’ immigration dans le parcours d’ E.H. Erikson et de P. Blos (Erik Erikson and Peter Blos: The role of immigration in their voyages.) Topique, 80, 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Jung, C. G. (1926). Psychological types. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  4. Kaplan, L. J. (1984). Adolescence: The farewell to childhood. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  5. Mahler, M. S. (1963). Thoughts about development and individuation. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 8, 307–324.Google Scholar
  6. Motto, L. R. (1972). An appreciation: Peter Blos. The Reiss-Davis Clinic Bulletin, 9, 66–68.Google Scholar
  7. Zuelzer, W. (1982). The Nicolai case. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Palombo
    • 1
  • Barry J. Koch
    • 2
  • Harold K. Bendicsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Highland Park ILUSA
  2. 2.Castle Rock COUSA

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