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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Gill, M.M. (1984). Discussion. Contemp. Psychoanal., 20:189-195.

(1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 20:189-195


Merton M. Gill, M.D.

AS USUAL LEVENSON HAS GIVEN US a sparkling, provocative, original, and illuminating paper. I both agree with it and disagree with it. This comes about in part because Levenson writes poetically. His writing is therefore evocative and appealing but he does not sharply state the logic in prose rather than poetry. I am tempted to say that prose is more prosaic but that would be to belittle my effort to state the logic in prose.

1. An immediate point relative to Sullivan is clear and indisputable. Sullivan (1953) advised "therapists to treat extreme anxiety as nothing but a warning of impending disaster, better to be ameliorated than faced." Levenson disagrees with this and so do I. Levenson believes that Sullivan came to this conclusion because when he was three years old he had been frightened by a spider, that is by a "lunatic piece of malevolence" perpetrated by his grandmother while his mother was unaccountably absent. Levenson gives us a dream by Sullivan to buttress his view. I'm sure he would agree that the spider story and dream stand for a whole series of traumata.

2. Levenson reasonably suggests that Sullivan's conclusion about therapy must have its counterparts in Sullivan's theory.

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