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Sandmeyer, J. (2019). ON A PERSONAL NOTE - REPLY TO COMMENTARIES. Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 14(4):409-412.

(2019). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 14(4):409-412


Janna Sandmeyer, Ph.D.

I want to thank Finlon, Strozier and Fors for their thoughtful and thought-provoking commentaries on my article. I owe particular gratitude to Finlon, who discussed the paper when I presented it initially at IAPSP Chicago, and then several more times including the Ralph Roughton Award presentation at the American Psychoanalytic Association. Every time, his presence and discussion elevated my paper. Now with the inclusion of Strozier and Fors’ commentaries, the combined effort expands the conversation even more.

After considering all three discussions in depth, I believe it would be helpful to provide a context for the inception of my critique of Jule Miller’s article. It came about when I assigned Miller’s article for an introduction to Self Psychology course. It had been taught to me many years prior in my own training, and I found it valuable and accessible, but increasingly troubling. I introduced the article by saying, as Finlon notes many instructors have, that it was problematic but I still found it useful (Finlon, 2019). After we discussed Miller’s article, I asked the class, as was my custom, if they believed that the utility of the article outweighed the pain of reading the homophobic aspects of it. One of the students replied that no, it was not worth it. It was the first time that had happened. The pain he experienced from reading it was not worth the value of the clinical insights. His comment lead to my concern that assigning Miller’s article was an act of homophobia in which I had become the perpetrator. While discussing the students’ reactions to Miller’s article, I off-handedly commented that I should write a ‘corrective’ for it. The class was enthusiastic. This article is my attempt at correction and was originally conceived as a companion piece for Miller’s article. I was not sure at the time that it could stand on its own.

[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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