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Spezzano, C. (1996). Fusions and Ruptures: Response to Cooper's Further Remarks. Psychoanal. Dial., 6(6):909-916.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(6):909-916

Fusions and Ruptures: Response to Cooper's Further Remarks

Charles Spezzano, Ph.D.

Discussing differences has been identified in many disciplines as a human activity of enormous consequences and inevitable conflicts. To claim that a difference exists (between men and women, cultures, or theories) is almost automatically to open up the possibility that one of the distinguished elements will be cast as the absent, unstable, or inferior other. In other words, we can try, sincerely, simply to compare and contrast two psychoanalytic theories without idealizing one and devaluing the other; but it is easy to end up nonetheless having one's prejudices and commitments show through in glimmers of negation of the true alterity of the school with which one does not identify and instances of splitting off the principles and practices of that school as the theoretical abject.

We also can deny difference to preserve a sense that there is only one psychoanalysis (at the center of which the author's favorite theory stands, with others in orbit around it). In addition, we can take several theories and pair them up like European countries forming alliances before the World Wars (the goal being to show how one's own theory overlaps a lot with another theory that one believes is gaining popularity and to show that one's theory is totally contradictory to a group of theories one has lumped together in their deficiency, superficiality, or anachronicity).

It is widely recognized these days that analysts do not all work the same way and that the differences are worth trying to conceptualize.

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