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Tuckett, D. Hayley, T. (1990). The Search for Common Ground—An Invitation for Clinical Accounts. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:1-2.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:1-2

The Search for Common Ground—An Invitation for Clinical Accounts

David Tuckett and Tom Hayley

We start this volume of the Journal with the Presidential Address to the 36th International Psychoanalytical Congress in Rome by Dr Robert Wallerstein. In his address Wallerstein continues the argument he began in his 35th Congress address in Montreal (Wallerstein, 1988) and discusses what he believes to constitute the Common Ground in Psychoanalytic Practice by examining the three main plenary presentations given in Rome, in which Dr Max Hernandez, Dr Michael Feldman and Dr Anton Kris gave an account of their way of working with patients by providing detailed clinical accounts of sessions. The first two of these presentations are also printed below along with two discussion papers: Dr Evelyne Schwaber's discussion of Hernandez' paper and Professor Roy Schafer's discussion of the Presidential Address. Dr Robert Tyson's discussion of Feldman's clinical paper will appear later this year.

To many of those who attended the Rome meeting it was apparent that there is still very much room for further discussion of what, if indeed anything at all, does constitute the common ground of psychoanalytic work, especially if the exact meaning attached to particular psychoanalytic ideas and practices is to be explicated and exemplified. Notions like 'transference', 'interpreting the transference', 'resistance', 'analysing resistance', 'free association', 'discovering the associations to interpret the latent content of a dream' etc., are not always as clear as we might like. Indeed, once broad agreement that such ideas define our work gives way to the discussion of specific clinical practice the ideas soon become points of fierce debate and controversy.

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