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Pizer, S.A. (1998). Stuart A. Pizer. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(1):59-67.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(1):59-67

Stuart A. Pizer

Stuart A. Pizer

Joseph Lichtenberg treats us in his plenary address to the distillate of his own considerable analytic experience. Lichtenberg offers a clear, wise, and systematic summation of his views on development, motivation, analytic technique, clinical process, and the essentials of change. It's all here, in however summary a form. I will focus my comments to highlight major shifts in our psychoanalytic models and sensibilities, as reflected in Lichtenberg's essay—truly nothing short of a comprehensive “reorganization of representational schemas” regarding the nature of persons, process, and practice. My comments will reflect my own areas of interest: the multiple and contradictory nature of the self as constituted intrapsychically and relationally (Pizer 1996a), the development of tolerance and competence in handling such paradoxical experience, and the analytic process as practice in the negotiation of paradox (Pizer 1992, 1996b).

Lichtenberg defines the reorganization of representational schemas as “changes in the manner in which the self, significant persons and events, and the interactions and emotions involved are imaged or symbolized.” This history-of-the-individual concept of paradigm shifts occurring within a person's “model system” of internal object relations resonates well with Kuhn's history-of-science concept of paradigm shifts (1962) within the prevailing model system of celestial object relations. We are familiar with Kuhn's illustration, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, of how the old Ptolemaic cosmology gave way to the Copernican model of the solar system.

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