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Siassi, S.F. (2009). On: Leaps of Faith: Is Forgiveness a Useful Concept?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(3):642-645.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(3):642-645

On: Leaps of Faith: Is Forgiveness a Useful Concept? Related Papers

Shahrzad F. Siassi

Dear Editors,

I read with great interest Henry Smith's thoughtful and provocative paper, Leaps of faith: Is forgiveness a useful concept? (Smith, 2008). I am flattered that Dr. Smith uses my clinical material as a point of reference for challenging the usefulness of the concept of forgiveness in psychoanalysis; however, since I had used this clinical material to establish the dynamics of forgiveness, and thereby its usefulness (Siassi, 2004), I would like to offer some clarifications concerning that material and raise certain questions à propos the theoretical issues on which we differ.

Dr. Smith considers forgiveness as no more than the outcome of good analytic work while he aptly demonstrates that it is a compromise formation. I agree with the role of compromise formation in the unfolding of forgiveness but would like to point out that unless we are talking about a conflict-free sphere of ego, every concept in psychoanalysis can be treated as a compromise formation including such concepts as love, guilt, mourning, etc.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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