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Greenberg, J. (2000). Discussion of Dr. Epstein's Case. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(4):444-450.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(4):444-450

Discussion of Dr. Epstein's Case

Jay Greenberg, Ph.D.

Before addressing the specifics of Dr. Epstein's case material, I would like to make a few general comments on our panel's focus. In his introductory remarks, Dr. Furer has concisely framed the problem we are addressing, and I will take a moment to explicate what he is suggesting. First, he believes—cautiously—that the analyst inevitably participates in the analysis, in ways that extend beyond technique as prescribed in the classical canon and that may or may not be accessible to the analyst's conscious awareness. In this, he is in agreement with all relational psychoanalysts and with many contemporary Freudians as well.

Having staked out a position on this broad issue, Dr. Furer goes on to take sides in two important, derivative debates. In one condensed sentence, he tells us that “these participations of the analyst are not central to the work or to the therapeutic effect.” Let me begin to unpack this comment. By saying that the analyst's participation is “not central to the work,” Dr. Furer is warning that to focus on the analyst's experience or behavior runs the risk of minimizing the role of what he calls “transference repetitions and distortions.” Then, by saying that the analyst's participation is “not central … to the therapeutic effect” he aligns himself with those who believe that we can be pretty sure about where the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis lies, and that it lies primarily in the workings of interpretation, rather than in some other aspect of the patient's experience in treatment. So Dr.

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