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Stolorow, R.D. Atwood, G.E. (1997). Respond to Review. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:649-649.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:649-649

Respond to Review

Robert D. Stolorow and George E. Atwood

It seems to us that John Gedo uses his review of our Contexts of Being (JAPA 44/4) to grind an old ax against self psychology (which is not the book's subject matter) and fails to address the theoretical heart of our book. Basing his dismissal of our approach and its originality on his version of a few of our clinical vignettes, he makes no mention at all of our detailed critique of the “myth of the isolated mind” in psychoanalysis (Stolorow and Atwood 1992, pp. 7-22) or of our reexamination, from an intersubjective perspective, of such central psychoanalytic issues as unconscious mental processes (pp. 29-40), the relations between mind and body (pp. 41-50), the nature of trauma (pp. 51-59), and the formation of fantasy (pp. 61-83). Placing us in the camp of radical relativism, he overlooks our careful differentiation between relativism and our own perspectivalism (pp. 123-124). Grouping us with those analysts who trust (naively, he believes) in the curative power of a benign object relationship, he ignores our emphasis throughout the book on the transformative potential of investigating and illuminating unconscious organizing activity (see especially pp. 34-35). He even faults us for failing to gather associations to a dream that the book makes clear was reported by another author in a journal article (p. 58). While characterizing our style as adversarial and electioneering, Gedo presents a string of misleading sound bites urging readers to vote no on Stolorow and Atwood.


Stolorow, R., & Atwood, G. (1992). Contexts of Being. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

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