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Witenberg, E.G. (1993). Comments and Criticisms. Contemp. Psychoanal., 29:371-371.

(1993). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 29:371-371

Comments and Criticisms

Earl G. Witenberg, M.D.

To the Editor:

THE AWARENESS OF THE LOOSE CONNECTION between psychoanalytic theory and practice is an old one although it continues to receive too little attention. Many others and I have been interested in this issue for some time (Witenberg, 1976), (1978), (1987) ; (Berger, 1985). George Klein's question, "Two Theories or One?" (1973), the eponymous title of his well-known essay, brought the matter in sharp focus as did Louis Berger in his thoroughly researched treatise Psychoanalytic Theory and Clinical Relevance(1985). In my address "Clinical Innovations and Theoretical Controversy, " (1987), I inadvertently failed to list Dr. Berger's book (1985). This important contribution should have been noted and I do so now to set the record straight. Berger's scholarly work was especially useful, not only as an important source of quotations but for its thorough discussion of the problem. Indeed, particularly in the introductory section of my article, I relied on Berger's scholarly and thoughtful summary of the thorny philosophical issues regarding the logical necessity to tie psychoanalytic theory to practice. Berger underscores the observation made by many of us, that innovations in psychoanalytic theorizing, despite their evident clarification of language and concepts, have not led to improvement in therapeutic efficacy. The logical connection between the two leaves a lot to be desired.

It could be that Freud (1910) and the rest of us have been asking the wrong question.

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