By Lewis Aron
During this richly nuanced evaluation of many of the dimensions of mutuality in psychoanalysis, Aron indicates that the relational method of psychoanalysis is a strong advisor to problems with procedure and healing procedure. From his reappraisal of the strategies of interplay and enactment, to his exam of the difficulty of analyst self-disclosure, to his concluding feedback at the relational import of the analyst's ethics and values, Aron squarely accepts the scientific obligations attendant to a postmodern critique of psychoanalytic foundations.
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Extra resources for A Meeting of Minds: Mutuality in Psychoanalysis
Copyrighted Material 25 CHAPTER ONE Postmodern theory provides a critique of "representation"; the belief that our ideas and theories mirror or reflect reality. Instead, postmodernism takes the "relativist" position that theories provide only partial perspectives on their objects and emphasizes that our theories are historically and linguistically mediated. A variety of postmodern theories have tried to understand reality in constructivist and contextualist terms, with a focus on the social and linguistic construction of a perspectival reality.
As we will see in the next chapter, Hoffman's socialconstructivism has been enormously influential for contemporary relational theorists and has been incorporated by Mitchell (1988a, 1993a) in his integrative relational approach to psychoanalytic theory. Drawing on the writings of Mitchell and Hoffman, I have been using the terms relational-perspectivism and relational-constructivism to make explicit my effort to link together the epistemological shift from positivism to constructivism and the shift within psychoanalytic metapsychology from the drive-discharge, energic, one-person model to the relational, or two-person, perspective.
The more moderate, affirmative postmodernists tend to be more indigenous to Anglo-North American culture and are more oriented to process, emphasizing a nondogmatic, tentative, and nonideological intellectual practice. These [affinnative] post-modernists do not, however, shy away from affinning an ethic, making nonnative choices, and striving to build issue-specific political coalitions. Many affirmatives argue that certain value choices are superior to others, a line of reasoning that would incur the disapproval of the skeptical post-modernists [Resenau, 1992, p.