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Kiersky, S.M. Fosshage, J.L. (2009). EPILOGUE. Psychoanal. Inq., 29(4):354-356.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 29(4):354-356


Sandra M. Kiersky, Ph.D. and James L. Fosshage, Ph.D.


We want to thank each of the contributors to this issue for reminding us of our common ground as analysts, for highlighting our differences, and for sharing with us the unique perspectives that only they could have brought to this case. It is rare that we have the opportunity to read the detailed clinical process of a case conducted by a senior psychoanalyst and theorist. Anne Alvarez has given us both a rich and rare opportunity.

It's impossible to summarize fully the various positions we've collected here. Each is rich and complex. Despite this, we do want to say a few words about the discussions as a whole and what they suggest to us about the current state of psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice.

Certain issues remain central for our contributors, regardless of their specific point of view. These are beliefs in a dynamic unconscious and that transference and countertranference are at the heart of the psychoanalytic process. All the discussants have powerful commitments to a developmental point view and to the centrality of affects in development and in the analytic exchange. Even though conceptualizations of these phenomena vary, at times markedly so, these fundamentals tie our theorists together as analysts and define, in a general way, what we mean by psychoanalysis. Along this line, it was striking to see the influence of systems theory on everyone, despite the fact that not everyone embraces a nonlinear model of development.

Within these broad frames, however, the discussions contain very real theoretical differences that result, of course, in different clinical approaches.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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