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Wilson, A. (1996). Comments on the Responses to the Special Section. Psychoanal. Psychol., 13(1):137-141.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 13(1):137-141

Comments on the Responses to the Special Section Related Papers

Arnold Wilson, Ph.D.

I am yet hopeful that this discussion can proceed along substantive lines. To restate the central point of my earlier article (Wilson, 1995), I detect at present of an unelaborated, undeveloped theory of mind in relational psychoanalysis. The failure to come forward with a systematized model of the mind and specify how it works results in the sacrifice of a large and necessary part of the force of psychoanalysis, in both its clinical and theoretical manifestations. I attempted to trace the price paid and some implications through aspects of the relational approach to thinking, transference, development, motivation, and representation. A related problem, I added, was also the case with that version of psychoanalysis that remains wedded to the structural model of Freud. This model of the mind is likewise unable to account for significant amounts of available data that analysts must explain if psychoanalysis is to flourish in the modern world.

The responses to the special section focused largely on method, ranging from Spezzano's (1995) and Benjamin's (1995) sense of relational psychoanalysis in its broad sense as a movement being given short shrift, to Marshall's (1995) comments on what constitutes a fair and useful critique, to Mitchell's (1995) more wide-ranging defense of his views. Mitchell's response was certainly the most substantive. I begin with his comments about my article, in which he touched on two central points: conflict theory and Kuhnian paradigms.

First, Mitchell stated that I caricatured his views about conflict. In the article, I suggested that his version of conflict theory is different from that of current structural psychoanalysis.

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