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Yadlin-Gadot, S. (2017). Truth Axes and the Transformation of Self. Psychoanal. Rev., 104(2):163-201.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Review, 104(2):163-201

Truth Axes and the Transformation of Self

Shlomit Yadlin-Gadot, Ph.D.

Freud adhered to the idea that psychoanalysis is a science and that truth is one. The transition from a realistic epistemology to an epistemology of subjective idealism in psychoanalytic thought was accompanied by the splintering of the “one” realistic truth into a multiplicity of truths: realistic-correspondent, ideal, subjective-existential, intersubjective, coherent, and pragmatic truths. The present paper, employing the concept of “truth axes,” explores these truths as they relate to basic human needs, self- states, and the structuring of subjectivity. Truth axes are posited as organizing principles of the psyche aimed at achieving stable images of reality across critical dimensions of the subject's life. Personality and experience render some axes dominant, while others remain foreclosed and dissociated. In this construal, the psychoanalytic process concerns the detailing, depicting, and understanding of the various truth axes. The psychological definition of truth illuminates its relation to clinical objectives and methodologies and emphasizes the ethical dimension involved in prioritization of truths. These ideas are illustrated by clinical vignettes.

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