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(2002). Correspondence. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(2):329-330.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(2):329-330


From Anna Bravesmith, London

November 2001

Response to Chess Denman's review of Green, André & Stern, Daniel's Clinical and Observational Psychoanalytical Research: Roots of a Controversy. Eds. Anne-Marie Sandler & Rosemary Davies. London: Karnac, 2000 (J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal. Dyn. Psychiatr., 46, 3, 549-51).

I am tempted to subtitle this response ‘skylark pâté’ since the arguments put forward by André Green are an impassioned call to conserve the specificity of psychoanalysis - analogous to the call to conserve the endangered skylark by ecologists. His own reference to that bird as an ingredient in pâté carries a different meaning; as Denman says, he compares Stern to ‘a man who makes skylark pâté using one skylark to one horse’. He implies that Daniel Stern uses disproportionate amounts of developmental psychology to psychoanalysis in his formulations (pâté). However my own association is apt, and perhaps unconsciously Green picked the endangered bird as an image for the skylark-playful-highflying and beautiful psychoanalytical concepts quite unscientifically arrived at by such as Freud, Bion, Winnicott and also Jung.

Jungians would prefer to keep the skylark alive and flying than have it made into pâté, whatever the proportions to horse. I think this means that we want to conserve concepts like individuation, the Jungian self, transcendent function and coniunctio oppositarium even if they are not scientifically validated.

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