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Eagle, M.N. (2003). The Postmodern Turn in Psychoanalysis: A Critique. Psychoanal. Psychol., 20(3):411-424.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 20(3):411-424

The Postmodern Turn in Psychoanalysis: A Critique

Morris N. Eagle, Ph.D.

In the recent literature, legitimate criticisms of some traditional psychoanalytic views have been transformed into untenable philosophical positions that do not constitute an adequate basis for psychoanalytic theory or practice. For example, skepticism toward the therapeutic value of insight and self-knowledge has been transformed into a philosophical position that rules out the very possibility of discovering truths about the mind. According to this view, rather than uncovering and discovering what is in the patient's mind, the mind is “interpretively constructed.” The author argues that all of the difficulties of traditional theory identified by “new view” theorists do not obviate the need to recognize the existence of the patient's psychic reality independent of interpretive constructions and to attempt to understand that reality as fully and as accurately as possible.

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