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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Widlöcher, D. (2002). Discussion of Brenner: Reflections on Psychoanalysis. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 11(1):144-149.

(2002). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 11(1):144-149

Discussion of Brenner: Reflections on Psychoanalysis

Daniel Widlöcher, M.D.

In recent years, it has become clear that the debate on theoretical pluralism in psychoanalysis has taken a new turn. It is no longer a time when mandatory adherence to a particular subtheory or theoretical orientation in psychoanalysis is called for, requiring the rejection of any compromise that, it was previously felt, would lead to conceptual inconsistency if not incoherence. Similarly, the idea that it is possible to be satisfied with a clear distinction between a common clinical theory—the common ground—and accessory theoretical superstructures can no longer be entertained. The clinical method is inseparable from the theoretical framework in which it is located and grounded. Charles Brenner speaks of a “rainbow coalition” to describe very aptly the diversity that is the hallmark of the variegated theories and practices that can currently be observed within the psychoanalytic community. How can one situate oneself with respect to the extremes of dogmatic conflict, on the one hand, and a purportedly pure empiricism that claims to be atheoretical, on the other? Brenner, in his way, seeks to establish the scientific criteria that would permit drawing from the richness of a certain pluralism without, however, renouncing a scientific reality principle stipulating that everything cannot be equally true. If no clinical practice exists without a theory, effective clinical work ultimately demands a theory that is scientifically valid.


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