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Bornstein, M. Mayman, M. Gonzalez, R. Silver, D. Smith, S. (1981). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 1(2):317-319.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 1(2):317-319

Epilogue Related Papers

Melvin Bornstein, M.D., Martin Mayman, Ph.D., Raphael Gonzalez, M.D., Donald Silver, M.D. and Sydney Smith, Ph.D.

If, as Gedo asserts, psychoanalysis must cope with a loss of favor from without and confidence from within, the commentaries presented in this issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry illustrate that a worthy group of thinkers and clinicians are available to respond to whatever challenges face our discipline. The foundation for Gedo's theory rests primarily on information derived from analytic work with the more difficult cases. He also derives support from literature citing observations on infancy. Responses to new data from within and outside the analytic consulting room are always greatly varied, ranging from eager acceptance to intense skepticism. Gedo's views describe himself as traditional in some respects and radical in others. The essayists present varied opinions as to which of Gedo's proposals are conventional and which are radical revisions. There is, however, unanimous agreement that Beyond Interpretation is a controversial and provocative book.

As we consider the commentaries, we are impressed that ideas once strange and seemingly unacceptable have gradually become integrated into the body of psychoanalytic discourse. Self and identity seem to be such ideas. Gedo's conception of a self-organization builds on this tradition, and it seems to arouse almost none of the strong objections some of its conceptual predecessors did. Of course, neither does Gedo's self-organization receive immediate acceptance, but its merit is discussed in the context of its general heuristic fit and with a more open mind as to its worth in comparison with the traditional structural hypothesis. Similarly, we note that the argument over the necessity for an economic point of view, built around qualitative changes in psychic energy, seems to have receded to a mild protest by some and to being ignored by others.


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