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Fayek, A. (2002). Response to Drs. Firestein and Novick. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 11(4):626-635.

(2002). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 11(4):626-635

Response to Drs. Firestein and Novick

Ahmed Fayek, Ph.D.

Drs. Firestein and Novick are two leading figures in psychoanalysis, and have written authoritative works on the subject of termination. It was disquieting to find out that they both shared similarly critical views in their reviews of my paper. This meant that my paper has consistent, identifiable flaws, which the two authors were in agreement in highlighting. But after getting over my first reaction, I saw the situation differently. I knew from the beginning that my paper does not follow the mainstream on the subject, so it was not totally unexpected that I would be reminded of that divergence.

The two authors shared similar views on three main very central issues in the paper, which could be addressed as a response to both of their critiques. They also raised some specific points (there too were some similarities), which I will address separately.

Drs. Firestein and Novick agree on the following two points: (1) That my paper is lacking, by not acknowledging that termination is a distinct phase in analysis (any analysis); (2) that setting a time for termination is a standard procedure in termination that allows significant material to be dealt with, which would not surface without taking that measure. They also raised the issue of the place of self-analysis after termination.

It is fair to say that Glover was the first to clearly advocate the division of analysis into phases. His arguments (1953, pp. 12-13) were tenuous to say the least. His divisions are based on superimposing the phases of the discovery of psychoanalysis (libido theory to ego structure) as a model for the sequence of discoveries in “a” psychoanalysis. He then introduced structural metapsychology as an additional vector in further dividing “a” psychoanalysis into phases. Mildly put, his orderly way of describing the process of analysis does not correspond to the actual clinical work we do. The Ucs.

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