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Pizer, S.A. (2002). Building Bridges: The Negotiation of Paradox in Psychoanalysis by Stuart A. Pizer: Applications, Implications, Complications: Reply to Reviews by Elkind, Gerson, and Levine. Psychoanal. Dial., 12(2):317-330.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 12(2):317-330

Building Bridges: The Negotiation of Paradox in Psychoanalysis by Stuart A. Pizer: Applications, Implications, Complications: Reply to Reviews by Elkind, Gerson, and Levine Related Papers

Review by:
Stuart A. Pizer, Ph.D., ABPP

The author appreciates the careful reading and thoughtful reviews by Sue Elkind, Sam Gerson, and Howard Levine. Elkind's review particularly captures and articulates many of the key ideas in the book Building Bridges: The Negotiation of Paradox in Psychoanalysis and creatively applies concepts of negotiation, paradox, an inherently multiple “distributed self,” and metaphor in her own work consulting on treatment impasses. Gerson incisively focuses on the core idea of recognizing, accepting, and bridging differences and contradictions in personal, and national, perspectives; he also articulates an understanding of the attempt of relational analytic writers to bridge the intrapsychic and the interpersonal with due recognition of each. The author replies extensively to Levine's comparison of Pizer's work with that of Semrad and other “classical” analysts and challenges Levine's premise that a relational perspective, grounded as it is in a two-person contextual psychology, ignores or devalues interpretation, insight, free association, and autonomous mental functioning. Quoting from clinical material in his book, Pizer presents the outcome of a “relational” analysis in terms of the patient's increased access to internal “potential space,” unconscious experience, curiosity, and reflectiveness about the mental life of self and other, and an increased ability to value personal experience in relationship and in solitude.

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