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Murray, J.F. (1996). Commentary on Responses to the Special Section on Relational Psychology and Psychological Structure The Return of the Digressed: A Reply to the Special Section Respondents. Psychoanal. Psychol., 13(1):129-132.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 13(1):129-132

Commentary on Responses to the Special Section on Relational Psychology and Psychological Structure
The Return of the Digressed: A Reply to the Special Section Respondents Related Papers

James F. Murray, Ph.D.

I read with some fascination the series of commentaries to “Contemporary Structural Psychoanalysis and Relational Psychoanalysis.” I believe the controversy engendered by our special section pieces and the replies to them is ultimately good for psychoanalysis and for this journal. However, I am distressed by the absence of substantive commentary in the replies. With the exception of Mitchell's (1995) piece, the replies generally failed to address what is actually present in the special section contributions.

Instead, the respondents relied to a troubling degree on ad hominem comments. Mitchell (1995) enlightened us with phrases such as “Alice … in Wonderland,” “appalling,” and “not honest.” Guilt by association is proffered via connection to the dreaded American Psychoanalytic Association. Spezzano (1995) continued in this vein with his “Empire Strikes Back” insight. Marshall (1995) also resorted to literary models to institute neoterist Nietzschean logic (New [relational theory] = Evil [which is really Goodness in disguise], Old [structural theory] = Good [which is really Badness]).

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