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Spence, D.P. (1989). Reply to Louis A. Sass and Robert L. Woolfolk. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:1128-1130.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:1128-1130

Reply to Louis A. Sass and Robert L. Woolfolk Related Papers

Donald P. Spence, Ph.D.

July 25, 1988

In their critique of Narrative Truth and Historical Truth(Spence, 1982), Sass and Woolfolk (1988) appeal to the "hermeneutic claim that prereflective experience is itself patterned and meaningful" (p. 445). This claim parallels J. Lacan's famous assertion that the unconscious is structured like a language, and Freud's (1900) claim in Chapter 7 of The Interpretation of Dreams that the mechanisms of the primary process can account for the stuff of dreams. If infantile and/or prereflective experience does indeed contain a formal structure, then there is method in the psychoanalytic approach because transformation of these structures will appear in the patient's productions and we can reason from the latter to the former.

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