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Gill, M.M. (1993). Interaction and Interpretation: Commentary on Morris Eagle's “Enactments, Transference, and Symptomatic Cure”. Psychoanal. Dial., 3(1):111-122.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 3(1):111-122

Interaction and Interpretation: Commentary on Morris Eagle's “Enactments, Transference, and Symptomatic Cure” Related Papers

Merton M. Gill, M.D.

I am glad to have the opportunity to discuss Morris Eagle's thoughtful and interesting report of a therapy and his discussion of a number of important points in the theory of the therapeutic process, applicable to psychoanalysis as well as to so-called psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Interpretation and Interaction

I am, of course, pleased that he ascribes to me a role in changing his view from a one-person to a two-person perspective on the therapeutic process, which is one way I would characterize his shift to seeing the therapeutic process as a “transference-countertransference dance.” I will later argue that both one-person and two-person perspectives are necessary to understand the therapeutic situation, but I first deal with only the two-person perspective. To speak of this perspective as one of transference, countertransference, or both can be misleading because these terms are inevitably understood in the usual sense of “distortion” on the patient's part and failure to remain “neutral” on the therapist's part when, in fact, what I mean by the two-person perspective is that the entire therapy situation is one of patient-therapist interaction in which the two people are coparticipants, each acting upon and being acted upon by the other.

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