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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Greenberg, J. (2008). Right Destination, Wrong Path. Psychoanal Q., 77(3):883-890.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 77(3):883-890

Right Destination, Wrong Path Related Papers

Jay Greenberg

Arnold Goldberg does us all a great service by boldly tackling the need to reexamine and perhaps redefine fundamental psychoanalytic ways of thinking about boundaries and boundary violations. Believing that the boundary concept has been used in contradictory and confusing ways, he sets out to develop what I agree is a crucial distinction between these violations and the more benign if equally vexing notion of technical errors.

To summarize the way I understand Goldberg's argument and to anticipate the conclusions at which I believe he arrives (or those at which I wish he had arrived—I cannot be sure): the definition of a technical error cannot be made independently of the theoretical tradition within which an analyst is operating. Boundary violations, in contrast, ought to transcend theoretical differences. As a result, we need a new (moral) language to talk about them, replacing the traditional psychodynamic frame of reference.

I strongly agree with this conclusion, although I am moved to reiterate that I am uncertain whether it is Goldberg's or my own. However, I disagree with his line of reasoning and believe that along the way to this conclusion, the paper does mischief by unfairly demeaning a great deal of contemporary psychoanalytic thinking. I would also suggest that there is a much simpler way to make the point that Goldberg wishes to make; I will return to this at the end of my discussion.

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