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Summers, F. (2012). Reply to Commentaries. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(2):182-189.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(2):182-189

Reply to Commentaries

Frank Summers, ABPP

The three respondents are discussed separately. In my disagreement with Dr. Bass, emphasis is placed on his contention that I am informed by the classical conflict model. I underline the fact that the purpose of the paper under discussion is precisely to provide a theory of therapeutic action in direct opposition to such a model. It is argued that Dr. Bass' alternative, that relationalists only engage “what is,” represents neither an accurate statement for the relational movement as a whole nor a cogent theory of therapeutic action. In opposition to Bass, the importance of creating an open space for the patient's creation of new ways of being is affirmed. Dr. Williams' comments are addressed from the viewpoint of our differences in assessing levels of pathology and developmental arrest. Comparisons are made between Williams' approach, my more Winnicottian influenced ideas, and the relational position on development and therapeutic action. Agreement is affirmed with Dr. Ceccoli's views that the potential space of the analytic process can be used for the creation of new meaning. Our disagreement lies in her belief that dissociative theory in itself provides such a space whereas I believe it needs to be supplemented with the concept of potential space.

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