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Sarnat, J. (1997). Response: Jody Messler Davies, “Dissociation, Therapeutic Enactment, and Transference—Countertransference Processes” (Vol. 2, no. 2). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(3):415-420.

(1997). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(3):415-420

Response: Jody Messler Davies, “Dissociation, Therapeutic Enactment, and Transference—Countertransference Processes” (Vol. 2, no. 2)

Joan Sarnat, Ph.D.

In her discussion of my paper, “Working in the Space between Psychoanalytic and Trauma-Oriented Approaches to Stories of Abuse,” Davies asserts several points of disagreement with my approach to working with patients who speak of childhood sexual abuse. I believe that these points are based on a misreading of my paper. I will begin by addressing this misreading of my position on technique, and then present what I feel are some real differences in how we think about what we do, as well as some further thoughts about Davies' commentary.

In her discussion of my paper and Grand's paper, as in all of her writing, Davies makes a compelling case for the importance of recognizing the particular therapeutic needs of the survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and meeting her where she is, so as not to further traumatize or abandon her, and so that an analytic process may be engaged. This is an extremely important argument. As someone who has treated many such survivors, and who has been attacked by those who minimize the reality of the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, Davies is rightly committed to defending this position.

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