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Fordham, M. (1991). Rejoinder to Nathan Schwartz-Salant. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(3):367.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(3):367

Rejoinder to Nathan Schwartz-Salant

Michael Fordham, M.D., Hon. F.B.Ps.S.

It Is Gratifying to know that my essay on interpretation has produced such a rich response, but I find the result in Schwartz-Salant's case surprising in many respects. For instance, some of the things I say I do I am told that I do not do, and I have views that I cannot recognise as mine.

It was in 1947 that I postulated a primary self, a mystery without characteristics, a creative absence from which characteristics arose by the development of two opposite processes: deintegration and integration. It is true that this postulate was related to infancy but in the sense that infancy is the period in which patterns of behaviour, feelings, emotions, and thoughts are being built up to persist throughout life. It was in relation to that conception that I adopted Jung's notion of not knowing beforehand so as to make a space between analyst and patient for something to emerge between them. So I agree with the necessity for an essentially unknowable or transcendent dimension within the analytic endeavour, a dimension that can and needs to be experienced within a human relationship (p. 347). Now, it appears, I do not recognise that, I do not empty my mind of knowledge, memory, and desire, and seem to know nothing about the imaginal realm or the sense of space between analyst and patient in which that realm emerges nor do I penetrate into the ‘psychotic’ layers of the mind, and so on. Now I may not know enough about it but I have, up to now, certainly considered that all these areas of experience, including not knowing, and the essentially interactional field in analysis or psychotherapy, were those which I have, over the years, studied with particular attention.

With such a formidable indictment I can only assume that Schwartz-Salant is mentally constructing a model of an analyst who is a scientist in the grip of Cartesian methods of thought, because that gives him a jumping-off ground to expound on his own views and practices. I am somewhat confirmed in this because many of the features he describes and the criticisms he develops are those that I myself have been wont to make.

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