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Zachrisson, A. Zachrisson, H.D. (2006). Letters to the Editors: Response to Dr Torsti-Hagman. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 87(1):266-267.

(2006). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 87(1):266-267

Letters to the Editors: Response to Dr Torsti-Hagman Related Papers

Anders Zachrisson and Henrik Daae Zachrisson

Dear Sirs,

We appreciate Dr Torsti-Hagman's comment on our article. It gives us the opportunity to clarify some points arising from our view on psychoanalytic theory and clinical method, which were not focused on in our paper. We agree with Dr Torsti-Hagman's description of what is central in psychoanalysis. We would perhaps have added some concepts, which are missing in her list, e.g. intrapsychic conflict and self-object relations, but that is a minor point. Psychoanalysis has several models and they focus on different aspects of the inner world. We also share her view of psychoanalytic method (which was not addressed by us) and certainly agree with her point about the analyst's ‘demanding self-discipline’. We take her initial point of the two different conceptual worlds that meet in psychoanalysis, but we disagree with her categorical conclusion about causality.

Our concern is not psychoanalytic theory and method per se, but the relationship between psychoanalysis as a knowledge system and the surrounding scientific and intellectual world. On that interface lies a potential for mutual enrichment and influence. Actually, Dr Torsti-Hagman gives a rather precise articulation of what worries us when she writes that ‘there is no reason to assume that experts from other fields would be able to understand psychoanalysis’ and that ‘true correspondence with other sciences does not exist’. It is an esoteric stance like this that we find problematic and try to address with our model.

We are wondering about her lack of interest in the questions raised by the Green-Stern controversy (Sandler et al., 2000).

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