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Stolorow, R.D. (1995). Comment. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(4):583.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(4):583


Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.

In a recent article in this journal, Sugarman (1995) glaringly misstated my viewpoint:

This shift from internal issues of conflict to external interpersonal interactions is emphasized by recent self psychological thinking. Stolorow, Brandchaft, and Atwood (1987), for example, emphasized the intersubjective field between analyst and patient rather than the internal world of the patient. (p. 57)

Compare the foregoing mischaracterization with an example of what I have actually written on this matter:

The concept of an intersubjective system brings to focus both the individual's world of inner experience and its embeddedness with other such worlds in a continual flow of reciprocal mutual influence. In this vision, the gap between the intrapsychic and interpersonal realms is closed, and, indeed, the old dichotomy between them is rendered obsolete. (Stolorow and Atwood, 1992, p. 18)

Sugarman neglected to mention that for more than a decade my collaborators and I have been seeking to mend the false dichotomies between the intrapsychic and the interpersonal, and between inner conflict and developmental failure, that have long pervaded psychoanalytic theorizing.


Stolorow, R., & Atwood, G. (1992). Contexts of being. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.

Stolorow, R., Brandchaft, B. & Atwood, G. (1987). Psychoanalytic treatment. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.

Sugarman, A. (1995). Psychoanalysis Psychoanal. Psychol.

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