Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To access “The Standard Edition” of Freud’s work…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can directly access Strachey’s The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud through the Books tab on the left side of the PEP-Web screen.

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

Goldberg, A. (1999). Between Empathy and Judgment. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(2):351-365.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(2):351-365

Between Empathy and Judgment

Arnold Goldberg

A patient of mine, whom I shall call Karl, said that he wanted very much to write a letter to Ann Landers or Dear Abby. He had come to me after seeing several therapists preparatory to his “coming out” as homosexual, and in each case these therapists were on hand to help him implement this decision of his. Because of my own admitted uncertainty about what he “really” was, and for other reasons based on my inquiring and expressing concern about his life apart from his avowed sexuality, he decided to go into analysis with me. In the analysis, he discovered that his homosexual fantasies were serving what essentially were nonsexual purposes, and he soon became for the first time rather actively heterosexual.

A friend of mine who is a gay therapist—that is, someone who is himself gay and primarily treats gays—tells me that my patient is really heterosexual, and this is now what my patient claims, and what he wants to tell Dear Ann and Dear Abby. He wants them to know that one should never urge anyone to declare himself gay or be directed to a gay therapist or to take any such definitive steps until and unless one knows for sure. And so here is the crux of the matter. Karl says that his analysis allowed him to discover what he really was—i.e., he was able to know for sure, and without this, he may well have decided to become gay. That possibility now offends him. He feels that he was very close to a terrible mistake. Interestingly, he feels there are lots of other aspects of himself that are likewise what he really may be or seems to be or would like to be, and that he wishes he could be made different. He would have liked his analysis to change these for him as well.

[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.