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Teicholz, J.G. (2015). Truth and Consequences: What We Lose and Gain in Psychoanalytic Postmodernism. Psychoanal. Inq., 35(6):639-660.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35(6):639-660

Truth and Consequences: What We Lose and Gain in Psychoanalytic Postmodernism

Judith Guss Teicholz

In this article, I use the psychoanalytic concept of truth as a lens through which to explore how psychoanalysis has changed and not changed under the influence of postmodernism. I suggest that the seeking after truth remains in current psychoanalytic practice even though under different guises or conceptual umbrellas, for instance in the high value placed today on authenticity (or trueness) to self and of relationship. Although, admittedly, the search for truth in the sense of compiling historical facts has receded, our current interest in the construction of narratives still comes with the requirement that the stories we co-create with our patients at least have the ring of truth if they are to facilitate psychic growth and psychological intimacy. Additionally, I offer an overview of some of the salient characteristics of postmodern psychoanalysis, with suggestions as to how each of these might relate to the concept of truth. In closing, I borrow a brief clinical vignette from the unpublished notebooks of Melanie Klein for the purpose of making a brief comparison between earlier and current ways of interacting in the treatment relationship.

[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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