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Dorsky, J.I. (1992). Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 61:517-518.

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(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:517-518

Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Joshua I. Dorsky

DISCUSSION: Dr. Arlene Kramer Richards suggested that Dr. Jeffrey used H.D.'s first session as some analysts employ the first dream—as a "Rosetta Stone" that "contains all that will ever be known or needs to be known." She cautioned that this represents a "static" view of psychoanalysis which does not fully take into account the unfolding nature of diagnosis and treatment. She took issue with what she saw as Dr. Jeffrey's belief that H.D.'s analysis was unsuccessful because Freud did not deal with the preoedipal merger transference. Dr. Richards quoted from a letter written by H.D. on March 23, 1933: "F[reud] says mine is the absolutely FIRST layer. I got stuck at the earliest pre-OE stage and 'back to the womb' seems to be my only solution." Dr. Richards also pointed out that the predominance of issues of closeness and distance is expected in the beginning of any therapy and therefore does not necessarily prove that preoedipal themes dominated throughout the analysis. She suggested that analysis enabled H.D. to resolve oedipal issues of sexual identity and object choice. H.D.'s acceptance of her bisexuality was not her only great achievement. But because of this acceptance she was able to overcome a severe writer's block and go on to become the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. This accomplishment could have been a direct result of work with Freud. "The Poet" and "The Dancer," both written in 1934, were cited in support of the

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