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Scharff, D.E. (2017). Reply to Catriona Wrottesley's Commentary. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 7(1):113-116.

(2017). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 7(1):113-116

Reply to Catriona Wrottesley's Commentary Related Papers

David E. Scharff, M.D.

I am most grateful to Catriona Wrottesley for her scholarly commentary on my clinical paper on a Chinese couple. Her thoughtful re-examination of this case is exactly the kind of comparative study that I hope for in presenting such material, which in my mind lends itself both to the study of the conduct of couple assessment and therapy, and to the consideration of cultural issues that increasingly are in the forefront of our clinical consideration.

Through much of her discussion, Wrottesley highlights the implicit dialogue between the levels of consideration in this clinical intervention. On the one hand, there are discussions of the cultural and sociological underpinnings of the couple's organisation that also contribute to their difficulties. And, on the other hand, we must return to psychoanalytic considerations about the nature of developmental and characterological difficulties that underlie the couple's impasse. It is not so easy to move between these levels, but it is my hope that presenting this kind of material will let us do so. We really face the same question when we consider Western couples, but in some ways it is harder for us to see the implications of our own embedded values and cultural inheritance when we therapists are of the same culture as that of our patients.

There are many issues to take up in Wrottesley's thoughtful discussion, and I will not do justice to all of them. I will take them up roughly in the order in which she discussed them. First, there is the public setting of the interviews.

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