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Cooper, S., Corbett, K., Seligman, S. (2014). Clinical Reflection and Ritual as Forms of Participation and Interaction: Reply to Bass and Stern. Psychoanal. Dial., 24(6):684-690.

(2014). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 24(6):684-690

Clinical Reflection and Ritual as Forms of Participation and Interaction: Reply to Bass and Stern

Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D., Ken Corbett, Ph.D. and Stephen Seligman, DMH

We agree with the commentaries that Relational psychoanalysis has stood firmly against dichotomizing clinical reflection, on one hand, and interactional processes, on the other. Still, we wonder whether the relational literature has skewed toward interaction at the expense of concentrated attention to patients’ internal worlds. Predispositions toward interaction may diminish reflective space and quiet inwardness, which are themselves forms of analytic relating. We raise the possibility that the Relational model’s inclusive breadth, valuable as it is, might sometimes impede and even devalue discussions of specific technical matters. We consider clinical conceptualizations of ritual, “relating,” and “being in contact.”

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