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DeRosis, L.E. (1961). Discussion. Am. J. Psychoanal., 21(1):70-73.

(1961). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 21(1):70-73


Louis E. DeRosis, M.D.

It is my pleasure to be able to discuss Dr. Hora's paper. I want to address myself to some aspects of it which I found especially significant and which I believe may contribute to the elucidation of the therapeutic process and theory, as it relates to the practice of psychoanalysis.

To begin with, Dr. Hora deplores the fact that the tendency of the therapist is to regard his patient in pieces. From this, he infers that we regard him as an object. And that by so doing we are unable to experience him as a whole being in the world. I suggest that the ability to experience our patient as being composed of pieces, or aspects, is not incompatible with the ability to experience him, at the same time, as being a whole being in the world. It is my experience that when a patient comes for treatment he comes because he knows in his bones, somehow, that he is going to pieces, and that he wants some kind of organization. He wants it one way or another—to be made into a whole. Many times a patient will give us a direct statement to the effect that he is going to pieces and that he is losing his mind, or some other such expression of his impending disintegration. He has tried to make himself into an organized whole and has been unsuccessful at it, and now he comes expecting us to do what he himself finds impossible to do.

I believe it is generally felt that man is seeking wholeness, regardless of the particular position from which he takes his stand. We must, however, ask the following questions: What is the person trying to organize into a whole? Is it possible to do what he sets himself to do? It is commonly known that our patient has a history of having developed in a situation where he was unable, as a child, to handle the conflict with which he was presented.

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