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Rangell, L. (1981). A View on John Gedo's Revision of Psychoanalytic Theory. Psychoanal. Inq., 1(2):249-265.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 1(2):249-265

A View on John Gedo's Revision of Psychoanalytic Theory Related Papers

Leo Rangell, M.D.

Early in Beyond Interpretation (1979) John E. Gedo states, “…traditionalists may choose to regard my clinical work as basically different from psychoanalysis as they have defined it” (p. 26). In order that this prediction not preclude dialogue in advance, I would begin my essay on this interesting and provocative book by stating that I, for one, believe in both tradition and advance. It is evident in this book that so does Gedo. I believe that both have an equal chance of leading to explanations that can be useful and enduring, and that both can mislead or contain basic errors. It is necessary for author and critic to start from this equal base so as to compare views constructively on the ambitious undertaking represented by this book.

Gedo's proposed major revision of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis comes upon the scene, according to the author, as a counter to the crisis that has overtaken and enveloped psychoanalysis. While for a moment Gedo seems to be attributing this crisis to the public, it quickly becomes apparent that Gedo himself feels that such a crisis is justified and overdue. The genius of Freud's original discoveries are amply acknowledged: “…psychoanalysis has every reason to be proud of the collective progress it has made…” (p. 9).

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