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Cooper, S.H. (1994). Response to Dr. Rubovits-Seitz's Letter. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:1313-1313.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:1313-1313

Response to Dr. Rubovits-Seitz's Letter

Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D.

October 27, 1993

Dr. Rubovits-Seitz is quite correct that my statement that Freud "always" emphasized the hypothetical nature of clinical interpretation provides an incomplete impression of Freud's stance regarding interpretation. He has attempted to clarify this picture by tracing the evolution of Freud's statements regarding the analyst's interpretative fallibility. However, he does not seem to weight more heavily the positions Freud articulated toward the end of his life. Furthermore, while Rubovits-Seitz is correct in emphasizing Freud's continual attempts to provide psychoanalysis with a positivist-empirical methodology, he minimizes Freud's efforts in both Analysis Terminable and Interminable and his paper on "Constructions in analysis" to examine the patient's voice as a factor in confirming the analyst's interpretations and constructions. I would include under the rubric of the analyst's fallibility, the analyst's interest and reliance on the patient's associations as a source of evidence about whether we have been right or wrong in the constructions we have put forth. Freud was keenly interested in this factor, even if his overall attempts to understand the hypothetical nature of interpretation and reconstruction are best understood as part of his aim to place a positivist stamp on the psychoanalytic enterprise.

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