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Kestemberg, E. Zetzel, E.R. (1970). Discussion of 'Towards a Basic Psychoanalytic Model'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:183-193.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:183-193

Discussion of 'Towards a Basic Psychoanalytic Model'

E. Kestemberg and Elizabeth R. Zetzel


The preparation of an introduction to the discussion of this paper has been a difficult task. The paper is itself a summary in which a great many different aspects of a tentative model have been included, and it would be impossible to prepare a further summary of the summary. We will, of necessity, confine ourselves only to emphasizing one or two points.

The background to this work is a clinical one. The bulk of the paper is a sort of precipitate of work which has gone on in the Hampstead Index Project which is, as many of you know, an attempt to organize and to classify child analytic material under a variety of headings. This process has led to work on the precise definition of the psychoanalytic concepts used for the purposes of such classification, and a consequence of this is that a number of theoretical reformulations have been put forward over the past ten years. It has recently become clear to us that in all these reformulations an implicit psychoanalytic model was developing, and it is this which we have tried to express in our paper. Some of the history of the formulations which have gradually led to our present presentation is given in the footnotes to our paper. We consider the background to be clinical in that we have consistently matched and rematched our formulations with the recorded clinical material, and the 'goodness of fit' of our formulations with this material has been for us a test of the acceptability of our propositions.

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