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Jacobs, T. (1995). Discussion Of Jay Greenberg's Paper. Contemp. Psychoanal., 31:237.

(1995). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 31:237

Discussion Of Jay Greenberg's Paper

Theodore Jacobs, M.D.

In the manner that his colleagues have come to associate with him, Jay Greenberg has given us a thoughtful, sophisticated, and balanced discussion of an issue that is as important as it is controversial. One of those questions that not very long ago seemed a settled one—at least for many of us—the issue of self-disclosure on the part of the analyst has surfaced as an aspect of technique that deserves the kind of careful rethinking and reexamination with which Dr. Greenberg has approached it.

The need for review of a matter which, for most traditionally trained analysts, has essentially been a closed subject (self-disclosure being generally regarded as a breach of proper technique and, if persistent, an indication of unanalyzed character pathology) has come about parallel with, and is partially reflective of, changed and changing views of the analytic process.

For many members of this audience, this new perspective, one that views the analytic situation as inevitably involving the interplay of two psychologies; that acknowledges the substantial influence of covert or metacommunications on the analytic process; that regards objectivity and neutrality on the part of the analyst as relative rather than absolute matters; and that recognizes that the personality, predilections, and values of the analyst, along with certain of his countertransference responses, contribute in important ways both to his understanding of his patients and to the course and outcome of treatment, is anything but new. It is, in fact, one that is quite familiar, as many elements of it were articulated and made operational many years ago by analysts of the relational school. In this respect, our colleagues at the White Institute were way ahead of some of us Model T types and many of our so-called discoveries are less novel findings than awakenings; awakenings to aspects of the analytic process to which tradition, historical developments, and political considerations have blinded us.


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