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Mitchell, S.A. (2002). The Texture of Fields: Commentary on the Contributions of Louis Sander. Psychoanal. Dial., 12(1):65-71.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 12(1):65-71

The Texture of Fields: Commentary on the Contributions of Louis Sander Related Papers

Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D.

This paper emphasizes the clinical relevance of Sander's work and links it to the contemporary relational turn in psychoanalytic thought. Similarities to the original work of Sullivan and Fairbairn are noted, and broader commonalities with the new psychoanalytic developments are then developed. From this vantage point, two specific clinical advantages of Sander's approach are discussed. First, it focuses on interpersonal behavior, that is, on what people actually do with each other. Second, it explores a series of dialectics that are central to psychoanalytic process. These include those between complexity and unity, differences and continuity, and change and recurrence. Finally, a clinical vignette is presented, in which a shift in the tone of the supervisory interaction had a direct effect on the therapist—patient interaction and thus on the outcome of the therapy.

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