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Ruderman, E.G. Shane, E. Shane, M. (2000). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 20(1):185-186.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 20(1):185-186

Epilogue

Ellen G. Ruderman, Ph.D., PSYD, Estelle Shane, Ph.D. and Morton Shane, M.D.

TO RETAIN ITS VITALITY AND DYNAMISM, psychoanalysis as a profession must continue to grow and change. New ideas and novel considerations for inclusion of innovative techniques in the armentarium of psychoanalytic treatment are all a part of this developmental process. An unexamined acceptance of and blind conformity to past ideas may lead to inflexibility, which often results in impasses in the treatment situation.

We as editors recognize that the subject of touch in analytic treatment is viewed not only as a sensitive and controversial topic, but indeed, has long been considered forbidden. As a result, it has remained an “untouched” area in the history of psychoanalysis. It gives us great pleasure, therefore, to be a part of bringing together for discussion and debate the differing views of twelve psychoanalysts who approach this delicate question in new and, one hopes, refreshing ways.

Once again, we are beholden to Patrick Casement in this endeavor. We appreciate his courage and forthrightness in bringing the topic to the attention of the psychoanalytic community's. We commend him as well for bringing forth with unflinching honesty his inner process with Mrs. B, whose treatment provided the genesis of this issue. His journey through the complications, pitfalls, and intense emotions associated with their work together, and the description of his careful and sensitive responsiveness to her, provided inspiration for all of our contributors. We thank him for his generosity of spirit in sharing so much of himself with his colleagues, and for the most able way he has responded to the contributions of his colleagues in his excellent retrospective.

Likewise, we are exceptionally grateful to our psychoanalyst contributors, not only for their careful consideration of the issues surrounding “touch,” and for their able treatment of this subject, but also for their willingness to share openly their thinking.

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