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Marmor, J. (1988). Discussion of Papers by Allan Compton, Donald M. Marcus, and Robert D. Stolorow. Psychoanal. Rev., 75(2):255-261.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Review, 75(2):255-261

Discussion of Papers by Allan Compton, Donald M. Marcus, and Robert D. Stolorow Related Papers

Judd Marmor, M.D.

Drs. Compton, Marcus, and Stolorow each operate within a somewhat different conceptual model. Dr. Compton thinks of personality development primarily in conflictual terms and defense formations, rather than adaptationally. He sees development as growing out of psychic conflicts between various drive derivatives and consisting essentially of a series of compromise formations. The purpose of analysis, in his view, is to help patients understand the nature of these conflicts and to help them achieve new, more effective, and more satisfactory compromise formations. Dr. Marcus sees psychoanalysis as a process designed to help the patient achieve a state of mind in which “he can feel deeply and think clearly.” His assumption is that if the analyst can empathically understand what the patient is feeling, even though the patient may not be able to verbalize it, this will enable the patient's mind to process his non-verbal experiences and face painful but necessary truths. Dr. Stolorow conceptualizes the psychoanalytic process as an intersubjective system that provides a framework for making it possible for patients to have “configurations of experience in which cognitive and affective components are significantly linked together in indivisible units.”

I think it would be fair to say, although at the risk of oversimplification, that Dr. Compton's is essentially a classical analytic approach, Dr. Marcus's is Kleinian, and Dr. Stolorow's falls within the realm of self psychology. I have no reason to doubt that all three are competent analysts, and in the comments that follow, I hope it will be understood, that I am addressing their theoretical conceptualizations of how their methods work and not their clinical competencies.

What

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