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Miller, J.P., Jr. Post, S.L. (1990). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 10(4):623-624.
(1990). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 10(4):623-624
Jule P. Miller, Jr., M.D. and Stephen L. Post, M.D.
The foregoing contributions by Dr. Fosshage and our discussants enable us to see the necessary and inevitable role that theory plays in clinical analysis — in data selection, in understanding, in analytic technique, and even in clinical perception. They also afford us glimpses of the inseparable mix of temperament and theoretical orientation that constitutes each clinician's way of working and thinking. In addition, they underscore the uniqueness of each patient/analyst “fit” — or lack of fit — and help us to appreciate the role of theory in this regard as well.
We are mindful that if we were to employ another self psychological clinical presenter, another patient, and other discussants from each of the points of view represented here, the results would be significantly different — if not necessarily incompatible. We are aware that we have only scratched the surface; there is much more to be learned from such experience-near studies of the interplay between theory and technique. A major beneficiary, as we can see here, will be the field of comparative psychoanalysis.
To us, these are exciting times in which to be working. Not only is the scope of analysis widening, but so also is the viewpoint of analysts. In the United States, with which we are most familiar, there have long been competing schools — Freudian, Jungian, Adlerian, Sullivanian, followers of Horney, etc. — largely out of communication with one another. That state mostly persists, at least from the Freudian side. But within the Freudian school there has been an evolution. During the middle decades of this century the dominant theoretical position was that of ego psychology, especially as articulated by Hartmann, Kris, Loewenstein, and Rapaport, with due respect paid to the writings of Anna Freud from abroad. Less attention was given to the Kleinians and other object relations theorists, although faint stirrings could be heard. Self psychology had not yet been conceived.
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