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Ahlskog, G. (1997). Cast the First Stone: Ethics in Analytic Practice edited by Lena B. Ross and Manisha Roy Wilmette, IL: Chiron, 1995, xxii + 146 pp., $16.95. Psa. Books, 8(2):253-256.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Books, 8(2):253-256

Cast the First Stone: Ethics in Analytic Practice edited by Lena B. Ross and Manisha Roy Wilmette, IL: Chiron, 1995, xxii + 146 pp., $16.95

Review by:
Gary Ahlskog, Ph.D.

This intriguing title is fair warning that the reader is about to encounter a paradox: Just as this famous response from Jesus does not endorse adultery, neither does it endorse reflexive conventional punishment. So too no endorsement of sexual acting out in psychoanalytic work is implied by recognizing that the conventional tendency simply to blame and punish offenders oversimplifies the human condition and, by so doing, falsifies it. Analysts, more than most, are presumably attuned to this paradox, yet anyone who has participated in adjudicating a case knows that an ethics committee is not a likely place to encounter sophisticated ethical reasoning. In this book, the foreword, by Adolph Guggenbuhl-Craig, and the introduction, by the editors, clearly reaffirm the premise that sexual acting out between analyst and patient is untenable. That established, they and 14 more Jungian analysts have gone on to contribute a collection of essays that raise a spectrum of questions:

Has the metaphor of transference become so reified that analysts can assert without reservation that the adult analysand remains forever in the position of an irresponsible abused child? (Guggenbuhl-Craig)

Considering everything psychoanalytic theory has to say about the centrality and reality of relatedness, is not an ethical shallowness apparent if all this is to be set aside where sex is concerned, in deference to a collective code that claims higher authority? (John R.

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