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Hirsch, I. (2003). Analysts' Observing-Participation with Theory. Psychoanal Q., 72(1):217-240.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(1):217-240

Analysts' Observing-Participation with Theory

Irwin Hirsch, Ph.D.

The author summarizes some of the literature's critiques of psychoanalytic theory, which have noted its constrictive quality and failure to take into account the vicissitudes of treatment within each analytic dyad. Such postmodern reactions have given rise to a countertheoretical trend toward psychoanalytic pluralism, leading the author to suggest that a single, standard psychoanalytic technique no longer exists. The interpersonal tradition, which tends to prioritize praxis over theory, is discussed in the light of its emphasis on an intersubjective model of participant-observation, and two clinical vignettes are presented to illustrate the author's way of utilizing this model.

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