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Stern, S. (2002). Reply to Commentaries. Psychoanal. Dial., 12(5):747-762.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 12(5):747-762

Reply to Commentaries Related Papers

Steven Stern, Psy.D.

The discussions by Pizer and Brandchaft are so different in tone and focus that I answer them separately. Pizer invites dialogue about the relationship between identification and dissociation, which I pursue further with him. I then briefly consider his therapeutic model, which emphasizes the negotiation of paradox, in the light of the identificatory divisions in self-experience that my model highlights. Finally, I address his concern that I bypassed the “crunch” of the repeated relationship in the case example of Jonathan. I argue that the stance I ultimately adopted was my way of bridging the paradoxes presented by Jonathan. Brandchaft couched his discussion as a dismissive attack, prompting me to defend myself while trying to engage in a dialogue about substantive issues. I respond to his criticisms regarding my epistemological position, my use of the concepts of identification and projective identification, and the process and outcome of my treatment of Jonathan. The bottom line is that the differences between our perspectives are not, as Brandchaft contends, those between an objectivist, causally “unidirectional” model and an intersubjective one, but rather those between two versions of intersubjectivity.

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