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Kaplan, D.M. (1995). Oedipus and Beyond: A Clinical Theory. By Jay Greenberg. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1991, 274 pp., $29.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:618-622.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:618-622

Oedipus and Beyond: A Clinical Theory. By Jay Greenberg. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1991, 274 pp., $29.95.

Review by:
Donald M. Kaplan

Whether or not we need a less euphemistic term than pluralism to cover the ideological jamboree we have been witnessing on the recent psychoanalytic scene may no longer be a relevant question. Things seem to be changing. The breaches among us are beginning to yawn. There are signs of reevaluation of what in haste passed as arguments supporting the establishment of new schools of psychoanalytic thought. While we are not yet in what could be described as a period of second thoughts, it is possible to observe improvements in the quality of debate and a greater attentiveness to the positions of others.

Oedipus and Beyond is a case in point. Its author, Jay Greenberg, is a notable proponent of the popular school of relational psychoanalysis. Having succeeded over the past decade or so in giving a new lease to “interpersonal” versions of psychoanalytic thought, Greenberg now believes his project is best advanced by getting deeper into comparisons of the theoretical substance of this school of thought with others. Thus, he tells us at the outset of his current book—I quote him at length because these remarks convey rather faithfully what is in store for the reader—

In Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory Stephen Mitchell and I distinguished between two major psychoanalytic models: a drive model developed by Freud and his followers within the classical tradition; and a relational model, based on the radical rejection of drive in favor of a view that all motivation unfolds from our personal experience of exchanges with others.

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