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Slochower, J. (2006). The Psychoanalytic Other: Commentary on Paper by Helen K. Gediman. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(3):263-272.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(3):263-272

The Psychoanalytic Other: Commentary on Paper by Helen K. Gediman Related Papers

Joyce Slochower, Ph.D., ABPP

Dr. Gediman locates the intersection of modern Freudian and relational theory in the arena of what she calls the “disclosures of everyday analysis” (p. 242). She suggests that because Freudian analysts, like their relational colleagues, work intersubjectively, relational theory does not itself embody a paradigm shift away from the Freudian model. I disagree. Relational theories assume that the analyst's work is inevitably informed by the relational context in a way that precludes clinical certainty. Gediman, however, believes that the analyst is capable of separating her countertransference response from her subjectivity and thus can interpret from a position of clinical certainty. Eachset of theoretical assumptions is associated with a somewhat different analytic stance and analytic ideal. Freudian analysts aim for a position of “methodological neutrality” that relies on considerable certainty in the countertransference while giving the analyst plenty of room within which to use her subjectivity. The relational ideal concerns the analyst's capacity to enter into an asymmetrical treatment relationship and to tolerate the uncertainty generated therein.

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