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Wachtel, P. (2017). A Procedural, Contextual, Action-Focused Understanding: Response to Renn and Westerman. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(5):546-556.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(5):546-556

A Procedural, Contextual, Action-Focused Understanding: Response to Renn and Westerman

Paul L. Wachtel, Ph.D.

In this reply to comments by Paul Renn and Michael Westerman, I discuss the nature of relational discourse and the various meanings of multiplicity in the relational literature. In further discussing Mitchell’s (2000) case of Connie, cited also by Renn, I highlight the ways in which Mitchell understood that Connie’s sadness was perpetuated by the ways she communicated her feelings and needs in the present. I discuss Westerman’s participatory perspective in relation to Schafer’s action language, Shapiro’s emphasis on action and responsibility, and Dollard and Miller’s conceptualizations of repression as the active behavior of not-thinking certain thoughts. I examine as well Westerman’s distinction between “self and context” and “self-in-context” formulations in relation both to the cyclical psychodynamic point of view and his own case example.

[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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