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Wallerstein, R.S. (2007). Reply by Robert Wallerstein. Psychoanal. Psychol., 24(3):515-517.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24(3):515-517

Reply by Robert Wallerstein Related Papers

Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D.

Dear Editor:

Leo Rangell and I have a long history of personal friendship and professional comradeship. We have shared platforms and teaching activities in numerous settings. For the most part, we have seen eye to eye on the scholarly controversies that have occupied our discipline over the past half century, especially the issue of the development of the psychoanalytic psychotherapies out of psychoanalysis and the continuing relationship of these two therapeutics, in their similarities and their differences, as these have evolved during the historical process.

Where we have come to differ, and strongly so, is in the understanding of the theoretical pluralism that has come to constitute our psychoanalytic discipline since the development of the Kleinian metapsychology, starting in the 1920s, that rose out of the original theoretical and clinical differences between Melanie Klein and Anna Freud. Rangell's position, which I trust that I am characterizing fairly, is his conviction that there is one classical mainstream, starting with Freud, that continues through his successors into what has been designated traditional ego psychology or modern structural theory; all other theoretical perspectives that have emerged, starting with the Kleinian, are partial theories, emphasizing part of the whole to the detriment or abandonment of much of the rest. My view on this issue is radically different: Each new metapsychology (Kleinian, objectrelational, Bionian, Lacanian, self psychological, relational, and so on) purports to be a complete metapsychology, explaining adequately the total psychology of the individual, and each claiming equal clinical results across the entire spectrum of treatable psychopathology.

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