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Balsam, R.H. (2018). Response to John Steiner's “Overcoming Obstacles in Analysis: Is it Possible to Relinquish Omnipotence and Accept Receptive Femininity?”. Psychoanal Q., 87(1):21-31.

(2018). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 87(1):21-31

Response to John Steiner's “Overcoming Obstacles in Analysis: Is it Possible to Relinquish Omnipotence and Accept Receptive Femininity?”

Rosemary H. Balsam

While the author agrees that issues of sex and gender are frequently involved in impasses and often remain clinically unexplored, she highlights how Dr. Steiner's thinking and (contemporary) Kleinian theory approach, in spite of seeming to recommend gender balance, suffer from the underlying severe sexed-gender polarities that were accentuated in the old Freudian and early twentieth-century schemata. Instead of setting up either/or propositions between abstract generalized (phantasized) masculine–feminine conflicts (as implied here by “feminine” receptivity, and “masculine” omnipotence as phallic), this commentary argues as an alternative and as apt to this impasse, the forward thinking of proposed varied gender integrations that emerged from work in the transference—such as has been described in clinical work enriched by contemporary theoretical development in the United States. This has been much more influenced by the human's internalized social and historical environs, academic postmodern thinking, feminism, relational thinking, and contemporary Freudian ego psychological developments.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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