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Pizer, S.A. (2002). “There Was a Child Went Forth” Commentary on Paper by Steven Stern. Psychoanal. Dial., 12(5):715-725.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 12(5):715-725

“There Was a Child Went Forth” Commentary on Paper by Steven Stern Related Papers

Stuart A. Pizer, Ph.D., ABPP

In this discussion of Stern's rich and thoughtful contribution to the dialogue between unified- and multiple-self theories, I refer to his earlier conceptualization of repeated and needed relationships. I thus highlight how his current model strikes me as shifting his emphasis toward identificatory factors, both in development and in clinical process, and away from the working through, or negotiation of, repetitions of relational configurations. Through Stern's clinical examples, I engage dialogue about how his construct of an “intersubjective self” relates to the qualities of multiplicity he accounts for in his theory. And I consider the implications for clinical technique of favoring identificatory influences over the analyst's living through the experience of transference repetitions with the patient and thereby introducing ameliorating responses from within, rather than from a stance more external to, embeddedness in transference-countertransference repetitions.

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