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Demetri, P. (2007). Facilitating Analysis with Implicit and Explicit Self-Disclosures Presenter: Helen K. Gediman, Ph.D., ABPP Discussant: Kenneth Winarick, Ph.D. Date: October 19, 2006. Am. J. Psychoanal., 67(2):197-199.

(2007). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 67(2):197-199

Scientific Meeting of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis

Facilitating Analysis with Implicit and Explicit Self-Disclosures Presenter: Helen K. Gediman, Ph.D., ABPP Discussant: Kenneth Winarick, Ph.D. Date: October 19, 2006

Peter Demetri, LMSW

In this evening's presentation, Dr. Helen K. Gediman, an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology at NYU Postdoctoral Program and Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Freudian Society, added her voice to the often fractious debate over whether or not self-disclosure should be considered a viable technique in the psychoanalytic armamentarium. It is her contention that a thorough examination of both implicit and explicit disclosures could lead to a significant reduction in the degree of polarization that presently exists between relational analysts and contemporary Freudians.

According to Gediman, the split over the use of self-disclosure in analysis began when relational analysts “challenged the mythic stereotype of traditional analysts as being rigidly withholding blank screens in their unflagging adherence to values of neutrality, abstinence and anonymity in the analyst-patient dyad.” Traditional analysts argued that the “new view” was nothing more than “another mythic stereotype in which the analytic process is exclusively subjective and co-constructed in a symmetrical analyst-patient dyad.” In an attempt to move the discussion to more common ground, Gediman pointed out that in most schools of psychoanalytic thought the concept of neutrality had evolved over the years into more of a methodology than a technical constraint. Rather than a rigid standard of technical, concrete behavioristic withdrawal, neutrality now designates a guiding set of principles that do not exclude “the use of self as an analyzing instrument.” Gediman reflected the hope that a sober recognition of this genuine commonality could go a long way toward eliminating “the stereotypes of relationalists who disclose willy nilly their thoughts, dreams, personal lives and feelings, and of Freudians who remain neutral via blank screen unremittingly icy reserve and withdrawal.”

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