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Spiegelman, J.M. (1992). Comment Interactive Field and Projective Identification: A free-associative reply to Michael Fordham. J. Anal. Psychol., 37(2):235-238.

(1992). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 37(2):235-238

Comment Interactive Field and Projective Identification: A free-associative reply to Michael Fordham

J. Marvin Spiegelman

In a recent paper, ‘The supposed limits of interpretation(Fordham 1991), Michael Fordham has criticized Nathan Schwartz-Salant (1989) and me (Fordham 1988; Spiegelman 1988) for eschewing interpretation ‘when primitive emotional states emerge’, and considers our respective approaches to be psychotherapeutic rather than analytic.

In the very next issue of this Journal, Schwartz-Salant (1991) gives a broad and closely reasoned reply to Fordham, which suggests that the latter does not understand or has not experienced the ‘third areas’, between analyst and analysand, and he illustrates his views extensively, comparing Bion, Wilber, Eigen, and others. Immediately afterwards, Fordham replies (1991) that ‘some of the things I say I do I am told that I do not do, and I have views that I cannot recognize as mine’. He continues that he is wrongly seen by Schwartz-Salant as an analyst in the grip of Cartesian methods of thought, and he feels subject to a ‘fanciful diatribe’. He rightly goes on to defend himself as one who has indeed known about the interactive field, has investigated it, and has been criticized for his efforts to make use of the discoveries and methods of Klein, Bion, Winnicott, etc.

Each man experiences the other as not seeing him clearly, as misinterpreting what the other is doing, and as not having had the experience that he is writing about.

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