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Samuels, A. (1993). Reply. Free Associations, 3(4):617-629.

(1993). Free Associations, 3(4):617-629

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Andrew Samuels

Karl Figlio writes in his response that he ‘can see what [I] am getting at’ and I think the constructive and profound tone of his response shows that this is indeed the case. His call for research techniques, literature, training and monitoring to be introduced into the field of political and cultural analysis is bold and timely, and I agree with it.

Figlio has highlighted the importance, to my way of thinking about culture and politics, of building upon a clinical model without converting cultural and social problematics into either patient or baby. What is central is the adoption of an analytical attitude, but in an as-if format. Clinical method may then turn out to be of more use to cultural and political analysis of a depth-psychological kind than schemas of personality development, models of the structure of the unconscious, or metapsychology. Moreover, this could help to end the isolation of the clinical project of depth psychology from the political world. Figlio and I seem to share the same dream: a politicization of the clinical; clinic as bridge between the personal and the political, not, as so often protrayed, clinic as obstacle to the interplay of personal and political.

What I want to do is to sketch out the reasons why it is clinical theorizing about the countertransference that should engage our interest. I am not forgetting the transference.

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