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Gotthold, J. (2017). A Discussion of Amy Joelson’s Article: “I Think, Therefore I Am Not Alone”: An Examination of Theoretical “Knowings” and Clinical “Doings”. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 16(1):21-24.

(2017). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 16(1):21-24

A Discussion of Amy Joelson’s Article: “I Think, Therefore I Am Not Alone”: An Examination of Theoretical “Knowings” and Clinical “Doings” Related Papers

Jacqueline J. Gotthold, Psy.D.

Sharing one’s clinical process with a wide audience is never easy. Presenting clinical process in such a manner that readers can “experience” a session is a talent. I want to thank Amy Joelson for bringing us into the co-created world of Dr. Joelson and Cody. They have provided us with a means to re-examine and understand anew obsessional disorder/thinking style as encountered in the child treatment process. Heinz Kohut, referencing his early work in “The Analysis of the Self” (1971), spoke of “pouring new wine into old bottles.” He was speaking of his attempts to maintain the metapsychological structures of traditional psychoanalysis while infusing these structures with his “new” ideas (Stolorow, 2013, p. 53). These new ideas of Kohut became the foundation of psychoanalytic self-psychology. Since then, psychoanalysis has diversified and expanded to include other new ideas, including contemporary self-psychology, intersubjective systems theory, and relational theory. Dr. Joelson takes us through her re-infusing process, reconciling her “pre-Cody” tried-and-true traditional understanding of obsessional thinking with her contemporary theoretical and clinical approach to the treatment process. This is a valuable lesson for all practitioners because our various contemporary approaches to the clinical process may obscure or bypass completely as yet silent unquestioned bastions of traditional theoretical thinking.

Joelson’s article, “I Think, Therefore I Am not Alone: Thinking Obsessionally in a Relational World,” is a reconciliation between a traditional understanding of obsessional thinking disorder and a contemporary self-psychological/intersubjective system’s theory/relational understanding.

[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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