This, I believe, is our last round of comments before we open up the discussion to others. It's been an enjoyable and flinty exchange--even entering my dreams last week!
I thank Dr. Bernardi again whose fine paper launched our efforts. And I'm very grateful to Dr. Prall whose most recent contribution seems to sum up the last several months of dialogue in a way that is both inclusive and fine-tuned. I find myself unable to argue with any part of it. (Alas?)
The original question of what we can hope for from psychoanalytic controversy remains open. It came to mind again as I was reading about several new books on Galileo that have appeared in anticipation of his big anniversary next year. Even glancing at these volumes is enough to remind one how much more difficult--lethal, in fact—professional controversies have been. And of course, one need not go back 450 years to confront book burnings, bannings and death threats from Europe and the Middle East to the Bible Belt and beyond. Strange to say, then, the psychoanalytic controversies of our moment that seem so destructive and benighted, may be remarkable for their civility. I'm not suggesting we give up, of course. A friend of mine said once that in addition to holding conferences for analysts with a special interest in children, adolescents, depression or anxiety, we should call meetings for those with a special interest in listening to each other, regardless of the topic. Perhaps Therip has just such an event in mind.
I want to return to something Dr. Bernardi mentioned in our first round of comments. He mentioned being on an IPA committee on Clinical Observation which has "a special interest in describing the patient's transformation at diverse levels, working in groups with analysts of diverse theoretical background... Everyone in the group has to translate their favorite jargon into language which can be shared by analysts of other approaches." At last, some good news! I wonder if he would tell us more about this. And perhaps our new interlocutors will tell us about efforts at true controversy they have found promising.
I look forward to more conversation.