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Rothstein, A. (1985). Chapter 9: Conclusion. Models of the Mind: Their Relationships to Clinical Work, 129-135.

Rothstein, A. (1985). Chapter 9: Conclusion. Models of the Mind: Their Relationships to Clinical Work , 129-135

Chapter 9: Conclusion Book Information Previous Up Next

Arnold Rothstein, M.D.

In writing these concluding remarks I am acutely aware that my commitments to the structural hypothesis and to a metatheoretical perspective on its evolutionary development, significantly influence my experience of the alternative theories upon which I am about to comment. In addition, although recognizing heuristic advantages in a hermeneutic perspective, I find myself critical of some of its implications and interested in some version of a positivistic perspective on the development of psychoanalysis. Nevertheless I have been able to “try a theory on,” to immerse myself in it in an attempt to experience its usefulness in analytic work. These experiences have convinced me that there is considerable value in thinking about what might be helpful in the ideas of colleagues with whom I have considerable disagreement.

This book has explored the relationships of psychoanalytic theories to clinical work. It is clear that theory is intended to organize clinical data and thereby facilitate an understanding of what is experienced in the therapeutic situation. However, it is equally clear that theory serves a number of more personal functions for the analyst. Analysts employ theories to create the illusion that they have an answer or the answer in the therapeutic encounter, an encounter that is intrinsically filled with uncertainty. Theories provide models or puzzle solutions, terms and procedures, all of which, if properly employed, enhance an analyst's self-esteem.

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