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Dahlberg, C.C. (1968). Discussion. Contemp. Psychoanal., 5(1):41-43.

(1968). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 5(1):41-43

Discussion Related Papers

Charles Clay Dahlberg, M.D.

I THINK Dr. Schimel is very close to Dr. Sullivan. Sullivan was so obsessed with the likelihood that he would not be understood that he sometimes became waspish in his personal dealings and obscure in his writings. Schimel's reaction to the same insecurity was to call me last Sunday and ask me to explain what he was saying tonight. In other words, Jack wants consensual validation because he does not think his message is easily understood, even by an audience that, to a large degree, is trained in Sullivanian thought.

If I understand Schimel's message, it is this: Start with something you think you have a reasonable possibility of knowing because you have observed it and, when that is established, proceed to the next thing you think you have some likelihood of knowing. This message, in a field that prides itself on understanding the unconscious, is radical, if not regressive. I am reminded of Sullivan's metaphor on the unconscious being like an unseen room—you know it is there, but when someone describes the arrangement of the furniture in the room, you can't help having some doubts about his accuracy.

Dr. Schimel has spoken of what I suppose must be called dream analysis. But where is the dream? There are no characters, no setting, no action. What kind of a dream is this? It is not a dream. What, then, is it? It is a partial description of an interaction between Dr. Schimel and his patient.

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