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Gedo, J.E. (1995). Encore:. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:384-392.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:384-392


John E. Gedo

I am both surprised and gratified by the large measure of agreement with my thesis that metaphors should be eliminated from psychoanalytic discourse as soon as they can be replaced by operational concepts. Marianne Goldberger has provided an excellent illustration of such a change in the instance of “adhesiveness of the libido.” Unlike some of the commentators, however, I am not satisfied with substituting fresh metaphors—Goldberger's “strengthening exercise,” Estelle and Morton Shane's “living through,” Arnold Rothstein's “analytic work”—for Freud's durcharbeiten. And I am somewhat puzzled by the impression of some discussants that I am interested in retaining the term working through. My paper is an effort to spell out the actual operations involved in accomplishing what we have obscurely referred to through this metaphor.

I am particularly grateful to Dale Boesky for reminding readers that this presentation is part of a lengthy attempt (now spanning over twenty-five years; for a synopsis see Gedo, 1991a) to articulate a new theory for psychoanalysis, and I am pleased by his opinion that my work as a whole has been internally consistent. Rothstein is correct in placing my viewpoint in an analytic tradition initiated by Ferenczi. (On the same point, the Shanes overlook the origins of this tradition, tracing it back only as far as 1960.) Rothstein is also right to place Kohut's contributions within the same analytic lineage. In my judgment, however, Kohut's proposals echo the Ferenczi of his last years (see Gedo, 1986), whereas mine continue a different tendency in Ferenczi's work, more characteristic of his positions several years earlier (see Gedo, 1993; Bacon and Gedo, 1992). As I have outlined in detail elsewhere (Gedo, 1991b, chapter 11), Kohut's theories are in my view excessively reductionistic, and I believe it is misleading to bracket my theoretical proposals with those of self psychology.


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