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Brenman, E. (1984). Discussion of Vann Spruiell's Paper 'The Analyst at Work'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 65:31-37.

(1984). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 65:31-37

Discussion of Vann Spruiell's Paper 'The Analyst at Work'

Eric Brenman

My response to Dr Vann Spruiell's paper was limited by time so that much had to be pruned to fit in with the programme schedule. I had intended to publish my original prepared response which was fuller and took up more detailed features in Dr Spruiell's material.

However, on later reflection, I have decided to submit for publication the response I made at the Congress, which contains the essential views I hold about the actual session reported by Dr Spruiell. I have therefore omitted my preamble referring to certain features that I consider are of importance with regard to the way the analysis was conducted prior to the presentation of the session. I would like to say that I totally agree with the subsequent comments of Dr Robert Gardner who drew attention to the development of the analysis being governed by Dr Spruiell's ultimatum to the patient to give up taking drugs.

The feature that I had attempted to explore more fully was the question as to how much the deprivation, rejection and abandonment experienced by the patient exacerbated sado-masochistic development in the patient and how much the sado-masochistic enactment led to the patient living in a loveless cruel world. The complexities of this problem enacted in the transference are in my view an important perplexing problem in any analysis.

I have touched on this problem in my response and hope that the essential nature of this issue comes across in my comments. In any case, this is so complex and requires such a long examination that it would not be possible for me to explore this without distorting my presentation that aimed primarily at keeping in touch with the vital interaction of the session.

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