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Kelly, K.V. (1994). Conflict and Compromise: Therapeutic Implications. (Workshop Series of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Monograph 7.): Edited by Scott Dowling, M.D. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1991. 238 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:120-124.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:120-124

Conflict and Compromise: Therapeutic Implications. (Workshop Series of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Monograph 7.): Edited by Scott Dowling, M.D. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1991. 238 pp.

Review by:
Kevin V. Kelly

The editor and authors of this anthology have set a clear and admirable project for themselves: to put modern structural theory to the test by applying it to a range of clinical situations and then to challenge those applications in a debate with proponents of object relations theory and self psychology. The debate is intended to test the proposition that structural theory, with its emphasis on conflict and compromise, is by itself adequate to account for the full range of phenomena encountered in psychoanalysis, as against the counterclaim that structural theory must be supplemented by other perspectives in order to explain and guide the treatment of more disturbed patients.

The debate follows the familiar Workshop format: a core group of papers, then a series of discussions, then responses from the original authors. In this case, the core group includes three papers which are primarily summaries of structural theory and three in which that theory is applied to clinical situations. The discussions include two contributions from structural theorists, one from an object relations theorist, and one from a self psychologist.

Jacob Arlow opens the theoretical section with a characteristically elegant overview of the idea of conflict as related to the ideas of trauma and deficit.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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