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Goldberg, S.H. (1987). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985: A Communicative Critique: A Response to Emanuel Peterfreund. Robert Langs. Pp. 626-636.. Psychoanal Q., 56:733.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985: A Communicative Critique: A Response to Emanuel Peterfreund. Robert Langs. Pp. 626-636.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:733

Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985: A Communicative Critique: A Response to Emanuel Peterfreund. Robert Langs. Pp. 626-636.

Steven H. Goldberg

The "heuristic approach" to classical psychoanalysis articulated by Peterfreund in his recent study, The Process of Psychoanalytic Therapy, is criticized from the point of view of Langs's "communicative approach." The major aspects of Langs's critique involve: 1) Peterfreund's focus on the manifest surface of the patient's associations and failure to decode these communications into their latent meanings; 2) his inadequate attention to the spiraling conscious and unconscious communicative interaction which is the center point of the analytic process; and 3) Peterfreund's acceptance of manifest as opposed to decoded, latent meanings as criteria for validation of the analyst's interpretations. Langs proceeds to summarize the main tenets of his own "communicative approach." He views the communicative interaction as central to the analytic process, and as the main stimulus to the patient's encoded, adaptive communications, which illuminate the meanings of the underlying psychopathology. He argues that the unconscious meanings of the patient's pathology are always communicated in encoded, derivative forms, and can be understood only by undoing the encoding processes of displacement and symbolization. These encoded derivatives cluster around the patient's valid but limited view of the implications of the analyst's efforts. Finally, Langs asserts that validation of interventions can only be assessed through attention to encoded, derivative, unconscious expressions.

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Article Citation

Goldberg, S.H. (1987). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985. Psychoanal. Q., 56:733

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