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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Modell, A. (1994). Common Ground or Divided Ground?. Psychoanal. Inq., 14(2):201-211.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 14(2):201-211

Common Ground or Divided Ground?

Arnold Modell, M.D.

We are all aware of the fragile health of contemporary psychoanalytic theory. It is now over 50 years since Freud's death, and the comprehensive general theory that was Freud's creation has become fragmented. Analytic theory today comes in many versions: classical or neoclassical, object relations, self psychology, interpersonal, Kleinian, Lacanian, and so forth. Taken individually, each of these theories is flawed in its own particular way. Added to this difficulty are the fundamental disagreements regarding the epistemological status of psychoanalysis-whether psychoanalysis represents a kind of applied philosophy, a hermeneutic discipline, or an embryonic and somewhat muddled science.

In a certain sense there is no such thing as a psychoanalytic theory that is accepted by a majority of psychoanalysts. Instead, each analyst accepts those portions of Freud's theory and those of others with which he or she personally resonates. Instead of a central paradigm there is a diverse collection of theories held by individuals. To deal with the flaws in these individual theories and their incompatibility with each other, Pine has, it seems to me, used a very sophisticated strategy.

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