Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To share an article on social media…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you find an article or content on PEP-Web interesting, you can share it with others using the Social Media Button at the bottom of every page.

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

Hoffman, I.Z. (1992). Some Practical Implications of a Social-Constructivist View of the Psychoanalytic Situation. Psychoanal. Dial., 2(3):287-304.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(3):287-304

Some Practical Implications of a Social-Constructivist View of the Psychoanalytic Situation

Irwin Z. Hoffman, Ph.D.

How one thinks about the nature of what analysts know about themselves and their patients is said to have practical implications for the way analysts work. A social-constructivist view of the process is contrasted with both the objectivist perspective and what is termed the “limited constructivist” view. The latter, exemplified by Schafter, focuses only on the way theory affects interpretation. At the heart of the more thoroughgoing social-constructivist viewpoint is the notion that analysts cannot know the full meaning of their own behavior, both retrospectively (in the context of interpretation) and prospectively (in the context of deciding what to do from moment to moment). The model requires that analysts embrace the uncertainty that derives from knowing that their subjectivity can never be fully transcended. Nevertheless, this very uncertainty frees analysts to “be themselves” within the constraints of the purposes of the analysis. Analysts can now “speak their minds,” including expressing conviction about their points of view, even sometimes when they clash with those of their patients. Both uncertainty and conviction are present but have different meanings in constructivism than they do in “open-minded positivism.” In the constructivist view, what had been known before on the basis of theory, research, or cumulative clinical experience is not discarded; rather, the authority of that knowledge is subtly diminished in proportion to a subtle increase in respect for the analyst's personal,

subjective experience as a basis for what the analyst does or says. Several examples are given of the way this attitude can affect practice.

[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.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.