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Rosenbaum, A.L. (2001). A Response to Donald Spence “In Remembrance of Things Past”. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 10(2):299-303.

(2001). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 10(2):299-303

Reader and Author Correspondence

A Response to Donald Spence “In Remembrance of Things Past” Related Papers

Arthur L. Rosenbaum, M.D.

In “Remembrance of Things Past, Science and Psychoanalysis in the Twenty-first Century: Introductory Paper” (Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, Vol. 9, Number 1, 2000), Donald Spence raises many interesting questions and answers them with a crushing blow of the hammer of his scholarship. He concludes, “Here is where the lack of witnesses tends to cause the most damage. With no one to vouchsafe his or her own recollections, the author-analyst can put down whatever strikes his or her fancy and who is to say that the analyst is not sometimes tempted, in the same way as the very early explorer, to exaggerate and embroider?” (p. 161) In these few words, he goes to the core of a dilemma. Although valuing the written report of a psychonanalytic treatment for what it can teach, he devalues such reports as credible research data. He effectively uses the acknowledged bias of the analyst-writer, something we as analysts regard as evidence of credibility, as anathema to the pursuit of truth.

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