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Havens, L. (1997). Commentaries. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:49-51.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:49-51


Leston Havens

Lawrence Friedman, unafraid to term treatment a seduction, has called analysis back to passion and at the same time has balanced the passions aroused by the analyst's “expectant appreciation” with a passion for truth—the skeptical, scientific passion that seeks to peer behind every appearance. I thought of Henry James's sentences, “We work in the dark. We do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task.” There they are: doubt, passion, task.

Every formula confronts that doubt, whether the formula of maturation or ego development or the perfect interpretation or the story line; and we can add the formulas of Freud's “mythology,” the instincts, as well as of present-day object relations. In turn, how do we recognize the vital elements in passion? Perhaps no passion can bear scrutiny, even the passion for truth.

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