Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To view citations for the most cited journals…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Statistics of the number of citations for the Most Cited Journal Articles on PEP Web can be reviewed by clicking on the “See full statistics…” link located at the end of the Most Cited Journal Articles list in the PEP tab.


For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Spielman, R. (1999). Parochial Reading: Another Reason we Talk Past Each Other. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(1):29-34.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(1):29-34

Parochial Reading: Another Reason we Talk Past Each Other

Ron Spielman

Henry Smith's introduction to John Gedo's target paper on working through (JAPA 43/2) and later, Smith's more comprehensive discussion, “Creative Misreading: Why We Talk Past Each Other” (JAPA 45/2), give me the opportunity to offer an observation on the psychoanalytic literature and the nature of scientific discussion of psychoanalytic concepts—from the vantage point (perhaps dubious) of a psychoanalyst living and working outside the great British, North American, Continental, and South American cauldrons of psychoanalytic thought. Rather than recanvass or even attempt to summarize the many complex issues covered by Gedo, Smith, and the commentators on Gedo's paper, I will assume that readers of this journal at all interested in the particular debate are familiar with the major issues.

Gedo's main point—at least as I understand him—would seem to be that “every type of working through with which [he is] familiar amounts to training in the rare skill of thinking straight” (p. 354). Those who are uncomfortable with this thesis seem to object to his notion of “training,” and indeed in his papers the word learning appears quite often. Thus, Gedo is about retraining or teaching “the brain” to acquire the “rare skill of thinking straight.”

I too am uncomfortable about the words training and teaching, as they undoubtedly imply a degree of potentially “nonanalytic” activity by the analyst. Nevertheless, it is possible that certain indubitably analytic interventions may bring about precisely the result Gedo argues is both necessary and desirable—i.e., an improvement in the ability to think straight. (By this I take Gedo to mean the ability to think in a way that more closely approximates external reality, rather than being unduly dominated by intrasychic reality.)

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.