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Stolorow, R.D. Orange, D.M. Atwood, G.E. (2001). Psychoanalysis—A Contextual Psychology: Essay in Memory of Merton M. Gill. Psychoanal. Rev., 88(1):15-27.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Review, 88(1):15-27

Psychoanalysis—A Contextual Psychology: Essay in Memory of Merton M. Gill

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., Donna M. Orange, Ph.D., PsyD and George E. Atwood, Ph.D.

The development of what we have termed the intersubjective perspective in psychoanalysis has had five movements, each punctuated by a book. In the first, Faces in a Cloud (Stolorow & Atwood, 1979), having demonstrated through psychobiographical studies that psychoanalytic metapsychologies derive profoundly from the personal, subjective worlds of their creators, we concluded that what psychoanalysis needs is a theory of subjectivity itself, a unifying framework that can account not only for the phenomena that other theories address but also for the theories themselves. In the second, Structures of Subjectivity (Atwood & Stolorow, 1984), we introduced the concept of an inter-subjective field…the system formed by differently organized, reciprocally interacting subjective worlds…as the fundamental theoretical construct for this framework. In the third, Psychoanalytic Treatment (Stolorow, Brandchaft, & Atwood, 1987), we applied the intersubjectivity principle to an array of important clinical issues, such as analysis of transference and resistance, therapeutic action, and treatment of borderline and psychotic states. In the fourth, Contexts of Being (Stolorow & Atwood, 1992), we circled back to four foundational pillars of psychoanalytic theory…the unconscious, mind-body relations, trauma, and fantasy…and resituated them from an intersubjective perspective.

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