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Renik, O. (1999). Renik replies to Cavell. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 80(2):382-383.

(1999). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 80(2):382-383

Renik replies to Cavell

Owen Renik

Dear Sir,

I'm delighted to have the opportunity to briefly respond to Marcia Cavell's critique (int. J. Psychoanal., 79: 1195–1202) of my article, ‘The analyst's subjectivity and the analyst's objectivity’ (Int. J. Psychoanal., 79: 487-497). I think we should begin with the report of her own clinical work that Marcia offers us, because it illustrates what happens when her point of view about truth, reality and the analyst's position in relation to them holds sway in the treatment situation. Marcia writes: ‘A patient of mine had suddenly begun to annoy me quite a lot. I was worried about the intensity of my annoyance. No question that the patient was, though unconsciously, out to annoy me…’ (p. 1198).

No question? I would say, rather, that there's always a question when one person judges unconscious motivation on the part of another. Marcia has transformed her inference, with all its personal determinants, into an indisputable fact of observation.

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