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Williams, P. (2012). Commentary on Paper by Frank Summers. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(2):171-177.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(2):171-177

Commentary on Paper by Frank Summers

Paul Williams, Ph.D.

In discussing therapeutic action as conceived within the British Independent School and the conceptual and technical difficulties involved in integrating dissociated states of mind, the author's linking of relational concepts of dissociated patterns of interaction with Winnicott's theory of potential space (for the purpose of transforming latent psychic capacities) presents a number of difficulties for this discussant which may reflect in part a culture different from the author's own but also profound differences of approach. Despite attempts to achieve common ground within psychoanalysis there are numerous variations of the discipline and areas of commonality are neither obvious nor clear. The paper under discussion left this discussant with a sense not having entered clinically into the unconscious world of the patient in a way that felt familiar. There is an emphasis on psychic change in the paper, but there is also an emphasis on the role of consciousness in relationships, which, though important, does not for this writer constitute the foundation of enduring psychological change. Overlaps and gaps in understanding are discussed which may reflect differing clinical trajectories or destinies as we undertake the analytic journey with our respective patients.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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