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Appelbaum, A. (1981). Beyond Interpretation: A Response from Beyond Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Inq., 1(2):167-185.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 1(2):167-185

Beyond Interpretation: A Response from Beyond Psychoanalysis Related Papers

Ann Appelbaum, M.D.

In Beyond Interpretation (1979) John E. Gedo reminds us that there are developmental levels with corresponding psychopathological states (enduring or transitory) at which interpretation is ineffective, such that interventions other than interpretation are needed to further the analytic work. Gedo's title does not quite prepare the reader for what the author intends to present, implying as it does that there is something “out there,” something perhaps better than or farther off than interpretation, or, if the choice of title is influenced by “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” something deeper than or co-equal with interpretation. Actually I think he means none of these, but rather that, by ordering psychological life into a developmental schema, one can see that a graduated series of interventions is indicated prior to interpretation, the series itself beginning at the developmental level presented by the patient. This concept is comparable to the pedagogical principle that explicitly or implicitly guides parents in performing a series of appropriate acts over the years of an infant's development until a child reaches the point of thinking in verbal and conceptual symbolic terms, having a sense of past, present, and future, and understanding his behavior within the context of his life situation and his major interpersonal relationships.


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