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Shill, M.A. (2007). Intrapsychic Intersubjective Conflict and Defense in Modern Freudian Theory: A Response to. Psychoanal. Psychol., 24(3):525-538.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24(3):525-538

Intrapsychic Intersubjective Conflict and Defense in Modern Freudian Theory: A Response to Stolorow (2005) Related Papers

Merton A. Shill, Ph.D.

Stolorow (2005) objected to my stating in my discussion of signal anxiety—the modern Freudian notion of conflict(Shill, 2004) that intersubjective psychoanalysis does not address conflict “at all.” Instead of addressing the issue of intrapsychic conflict, which is the actual focus of my article and the context of my comment, Stolorow counters with his own “vocabulary” of conflict that is confusing and vague. Stolorow rejects the notion of intrapsychically generated conflict and “the intrapsychic” because he focuses exclusively on the intersubjective aspects of conflict and does not consider that, in the last instance, psychological conflict is always internal and intrinsic to the manner in which the mind functions. By contrast, contemporary Freudian conflict theory—signal anxiety theory—is an intrapsychic, intersubjective theory in which the ego rehearses the feared scenario unconsciously in fantasy—intersubjective in nature—and triggers a defensive response aimed at quelling or at least mitigating the signal anxiety being experienced. Signal anxiety is a hypothetical construct and its operation refers to subjectively experienced affect states in an intrapsychic intersubjective conflict.

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