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Wheelis, J. (1998). Meet the Author: Fred Pine. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(2):531-537.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(2):531-537

Meet the Author: Fred Pine

Joan Wheelis

In On Trying to Teach, psychoanalyst Robert Gardner (1994) speaks to the process of learning with a vignette about swimming:

We try to teach someone to swim. That person may learn. But we cannot follow, and never shall, the endless subtleties and vagaries of ideas, sensations, feelings, and actions by which the swimming has begun to be learned. And even if we know a few paltry particulars we hope to teach, and have managed to teach a few, we can never hope to know how the novice natator has bridged between those paltry particulars and the substantial wisdom that adds up at last to swimming [p. 161]. Despite the obvious discrepancy between the relative simplicity of learning to swim and the complexity of becoming a psychoanalyst, it is true of both efforts that what is used to learn does not easily translate into what ultimately is learned.

In discussing Fred Pine's Drive, Ego, Object, Self: A Synthesis for Clinical Work (1990), the panel addressed such questions as how one learns, what constitutes theory, and what translations are possible from observations of what is done clinically to what is believed theoretically. Glen Gabbard introduced the panel by noting how American psychoanalysis has been greatly influenced by the recognition that psychoanalysis is a pluralistic endeavor. He noted that responses to the shift have been many and varied. Some search for common ground among different theoretical orientations (Wallerstein 1988), while others feel more territorial. Some hold that acknowledging the distinction between public and private theory allows for the creative use of multiple theories in the office (Sandler 1983).

Gabbard spoke of the praise Pine has received for his efforts to synthesize a working clinical model based on multiple theoretical points of view.

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