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Ingram, D.H. (1994). In these Pages …. Am. J. Psychoanal., 54(1):1-2.

(1994). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 54(1):1-2

In these Pages …

Douglas H. Ingram

The lead paper in this journal issue and its follow-up discussion constitute a tale of wariness turned to enthusiastic endorsement. Sue Nathanson Elkind invites us to consider how a consultant, an active third party, might help repair therapeutic impasses. The consultant, as framed by Elkind, is no control analyst or supervisor engaged privately by the therapist and remaining outside the patient's awareness. The consultant is there, in there. We, like the discussant Joyce A. Lerner, may feel skeptical at first about such intrusion on theoretical, practical, and perhaps even on more personal grounds. How Elkind frames the consultant's role and successfully answers Lerner's objections gives pitch to this story. What Elkind is recommending has significant consequences and, were it to take hold, can revise in profound ways how we come to regard the practice of analytic therapy. Lerner's endorsement alerts us that these ideas bear merit.

The story changes with our paper by Michelle Price and its discussant Sylvia W. Olarte. Here, our concern is with the incest victim and how she organizes a self that enables psychological survival in a hostile, exploitative, and unpredictable environment. More specifically, Price scouts for the vicissitudes of idealization that often serve as a significant aspect of self for the incest victim who must avoid awareness of what victimization entails. Implications for relationships with others, including the therapist, are explored. The task of therapy is not solely to provide validation that incest occurred, but to help reconstitute an identity in which incest no longer dominates and controls.

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