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Leider, R.J. (1988). Comments on “Complementarity” and the Concept of a Combined Model. Progress in Self Psychology, 4:84-88.

(1988). Progress in Self Psychology, 4:84-88

Comments on “Complementarity” and the Concept of a Combined Model Related Papers

Robert J. Leider, M.D.

There are many areas of agreement among the Shanes, Stolorow, and myself. Foremost, we agree that an overall model of mental functioning, capable of organizing the concepts and observations central to self psychology, integrating the phenomena central to classical psychoanalysis, and illuminating clinical practice, is desirable. Such a model optimally should also be consistent with knowledge about psychological development and function obtained from nonpsychoanalytic methodologies.

The Shanes and Stolorow each propose a model they assert to be suitable for these purposes. But while they share the same goal, the models they propose are very different and, to my mind, not compatible with each other.

Turning to the Shanes' contribution, I would first emphasize several additional areas in which I am in agreement with the authors. The reformulation of “drive” as an aspect of an affective configuration, and the recognition that aggression is not primarily destructive, are congruent with my views. Furthermore, I support their assertion that self psychology has given too little attention to the functions of, and interaction between, the object and the self.

However, perhaps the point most central to the Shanes' position is their view that many concepts inherent in the tripartite model and still necessary to the field must be included under the expanded umbrella of self psychology theory it must carry with it the idea of an entity that functions all of a piece, at the same time that it functions with inner conflict, tension, and disparity.

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