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Richards, A.D. Richards, A.K. (1997). Reply to Dr. Stolorow. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 6(1):127-130.

(1997). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 6(1):127-130

Reply to Dr. Stolorow Related Papers

Arnold D. Richards, M.D. and Arlene Kramer Richards, ED.D.

We are very grateful to Dr. Stolorow for responding to our reply to his commentary on our paper on the relationship between theory and technique because it gives us an opportunity to continue our dialogue about some important issues. Stolorow takes issue with us on several points. The two which seem to us most substantive are: (1) He rejects the implication that he is unaware of the personal determinants of his own theoretical position, and (2) that the epistemological positivist / relativist distinction cannot be usefully invoked in psychoanalytic theoretical discussions. Another issue he raises is less clear, namely: that he objects to our saving that his intersubjectivity theory gives short shrift to the concept of unconscious mental processes.

We respond as follows:

(1) If Stolorow accepts that his view of theory is particularized by his personal subjectivity, he needs to consider to what extent his reading of Freudian theory—that it is based on a view of the mind as isolated—is itself a misreading and driven by his own personal and political imperatives.

Donald Carveth (1996) comments on the contradictions evident in intersubjectivist attacks on theoretical positivism:

Although they emphasize the therapeutic importance of accurate empathic understanding of the patient's experience, Stolorow and Atwood unfortunately fail to extend this attitude to psychoanalytic colleagues of other theoretical persuasions.

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