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Pizer, S.A. (2009). Love and Existential Exposure: Reply to Discussions by Sandra Beuchler and Martin Stephen Frommer. Psychoanal. Dial., 19(1):80-86.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19(1):80-86

Love and Existential Exposure: Reply to Discussions by Sandra Beuchler and Martin Stephen Frommer

Stuart A. Pizer, Ph.D. and A.B.P.P.

In replying to the impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking discussions of my paper by Sandra Beuchler and Martin Stephen Frommer, I engage with ideas and questions raised by each of them. Responding to Sandra Beuchler, I elaborate on the specific reciprocal context of my analytic relationship with Frank that shaped manifestations of my state-shift following my illness and existential exposure. Echoing her question of “Whose Illness Is It,” I ask, “Whose State Shift Is It?” I resonate with much that Sandra Beuchler writes about the enactment of personal values, about human vulnerability, and about the need to inspire rather than command a patient's engagement in analytic process. Responding to Martin Stephen Frommer, I address several of his finely elaborated questions about shame, disgust, mortal vulnerability, the intersubjective context, and the existential Third. I reply to his conjecture that homoerotic transference was insufficiently addressed in the treatment process, raising my own questions about technical priorities and choices. Finally, I take up his question, and my own in “Inside Out,” of whether a state-shift prompted by transient mortal exposure can remain permanent once the evocative existential crisis has been left behind. I ask, Do we ever leave it behind?

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