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Ehrlich, J. (2003). Joshua Ehrlich Replies. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 51(3):970-971.

(2003). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(3):970-971

Joshua Ehrlich Replies Related Papers

Joshua Ehrlich

July 18, 2003. Lee Jaffe's first complaint concerns my assertion that he separates the reality of training (indirect countertransference) from the fantasies it elicits for analyst and patient. As I re-read his paper, I find abundant evidence to support my assertion. For example, Jaffe writes that it is possible that such requirements, being external influences, have been underemphasized in deference to concerns about intrapsychic phenomena (p. 837). Here Jaffe makes a sharp distinction between training requirements and the intrapsychic. In another instance he asserts that “indirect countertransference reactions are distinct from direct countertransference reactions, which are based on the patient's inner object world, because they introduce a complication into the analytic process that lies outside the patient-analyst dyad.” Here again he makes a clear distinction between “external influences” and the transference-countertransference field. While Jaffe suggests in his letter that he and I are saying essentially the same thing, I think I am saying something quite different. I argue that aspects of training, including institute requirements, are drawn into an established transference-countertransference field and used defensively—by candidate and patient. In contrast, Jaffe argues that training requirements cause certain countertransference reactions.

Jaffe asserts that I have committed a “category error.” I am not sure exactly what a “category error” is, but, as I understand his concern, he believes that I have failed to understand that he separated “theoretical proposition[s]” from “actual analytic work” in his discussion of countertransference.

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