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Ellman, S. (2010). Discussion. Psychoanal. Inq., 30(6):563-578.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(6):563-578


Steven Ellman, Ph.D.


I can only imagine that the reader of this issue will be overwhelmed by the presence of such a rich array of articles. This group of articles provides the reader with a variety of choices of how to view Oedipal dynamics. The choices range from (almost) doing away with the concept to continuing to accept the concept as the (somewhat refined) Rosetta stone of neurotic conflict. In this discussion, I will not attempt to discuss empirical studies that have been cited. But, before fully entering into the discussions of differing perspectives on the Oedipal situation, I wish to comment on Miriam Steele's contributions. Her empirical contributions are almost singular in the field of psychoanalysis. Recently, we have written an analysis of studies cited by the Boston Change Group (Ellman and Moskowitz, 2008) where we attempted to carefully look at the empirical evidence that this group cited in terms of the theoretical positions that they espoused. I wish that I had the time and space to fully look at Dr. Steele's contributions in this way, but this would take me too far afield from the central theme of this discussion, which is a focus on the contributions that comment on psychoanalytic conceptualizations. Certainly her contributions deserve a detailed commentary that is beyond the scope of what I can provide in this article.

To begin, it seems to me that Drs. Fosshage and Lachmann (this issue) make an important terminological/conceptual point when they make a distinction between the Oedipal complex and the Oedipal phase or stage.

[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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