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Blass, R.B. (2015). Psychoanalytic Theories as Efforts to Grasp the True (Not Fictional) Nature of Human Reality: Commentary on Greenberg. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(1):47-63.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(1):47-63

Psychoanalytic Theories as Efforts to Grasp the True (Not Fictional) Nature of Human Reality: Commentary on Greenberg Related Papers

Rachel B. Blass

Were I to agree with the position Jay Greenberg advances in “Therapeutic Action and the Analyst's Responsibility,” I would probably not be writing this commentary. I would regard our positions and whatever differences we have as unbased beliefs, derivatives of the fictions that guide our respective ways of perceiving and understanding psychoanalysis. Ignorant of their fictional nature, I may pursue dialogue, but aware of it there would be no real point in doing so.

However, I disagree with his position and so am happy to have this opportunity for dialogue over our differences. This is because while my views may be mistaken, I don't think they are ungrounded fictions. Rather, they are expressions of my best effort to grasp the reality in which we live, are largely motivated by a desire to truthfully encounter reality, and to some extent succeed in doing so. I would like to share how and why I see things, so that others may come to recognize what is true in what I see and may help me question what is false in it. I am inclined to believe that this is what Greenberg hopes for too, as he opens his thoughts to discussion.

To summarize Greenberg's central claims as I understand them: Psychoanalytic models and their theories of therapeutic action are fictions.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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