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Zaphiropoulos, M. (2013). Recollections of Greenberg and Mitchell. Contemp. Psychoanal., 49(1):8-10.

(2013). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 49(1):8-10

Recollections of Greenberg and Mitchell

Miltiades Zaphiropoulos, M.D.

It would be easy to say that Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory was an event ready to happen. But this would not do justice to Jay Greenberg and Steve Mitchell's inspiration and dedication, perspicacity and perseverance, and their artful dodging of actual or potential brickbats. Before we turn to the reflections of the panelists from the 2010 Symposium, “The 25th Anniversary (+2) of the Publication of Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory,” let me proceed with some idiosyncratic thoughts, bearing in mind that one of my Rorschach reports said that I have difficulty with abstraction—and I do—and that I tend to be more of a disciple of the actually evolutionary than the ostensibly revolutionary.

Heraclitus posited that you cannot step in the same river twice and Cratylus contended that you cannot step in the same river even once. Perhaps this characterizes what has been happening in the cumbersomely named (as Time magazine [Medicine: Psychiatry & Being, 1958] described it once) William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology, which in 1983, the year Greenberg and Mitchell's book was published, was celebrating 40 years of hearty existence. It is a fact that every 10 years, as well as those years in between, so-called Young Turks would emerge, sometimes with the blessing of the elders, and other times to their dismay. While the Founders were still around, things were relatively easier and smoother, perhaps out of respect or awe, and maybe because we had to contend with slings and arrows from the outside.

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