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Unread March 13th, 2005, 01:39 PM
Paul Wachtel Paul Wachtel is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8
Default Re: "Integrating control-mastery theory & research with other theoretical perspective


I am still getting caught up with this very interesting and stimulating discussion. George Silberschatz had alerted me to the dialogue going on and invited me to participate. I am very happy to do so, and look forward to being a participant. (Although I do not know many of you, I hope I can join in on a first-name basis, since this seems mainly to be a first-name exchange – and while on the issue of tone of communications, I want to apologize for the rather cranky tone of my earlier response to Patsy Wood’s posting in a different thread. [I’m assuming they all loop together for different participants; I haven’t done much of this kind of exchange so I’m not sure]. I had come upon Patsy’s posting depicting cyclical psychodynamics as positing that the patient WANTS to recreate the pathological pattern , is attempting to get the therapist to collude, etc. at the end of a day with various distractions and too many chores that had to get done, and I was, I realize in the light of a nice sunny morning the next day, in an irritable mood. I do still stand behind the content of what I said, but it was not said in a tone I feel good about). Anyhow, I wanted to respond to Judy’s question of how my views have evolved since our Psychoanalytic Dialogues article (I have alerted Annette DiMichele about this dialogue, and she may have her own points to add about her own thinking). What particularly struck me reading Judy’s posting is that the shifts in my own thinking have rather closely paralled the kinds of considerations that are at the center of her posting. I am presently working on a book addressing the process of psychotherapy from a relational point of view. I have increasingly come to see cyclical psychodynamics as a form of relational thinking, one that is, of course, especially rooted in the importance of vicious circles and that is also rooted in thinking integratively, reaching outside of the psychoanalytic tradition as well. But my most focal concentration in the last year or two is on the relational perspective in general, examining some of its premises, relating it to other trends in contemporary thought, etc. These reflections have brought me to many of the very issues that Judy raises in her posting. And indeed, in just the last month or two, I have been especially thinking through how this further rethinking relates to/incorporates/tries to include/is modified by the ideas of control-mastery theory. So Judy, I will be following what you have to say especially closely, and would appreciate also being alerted to other work (by Judy or by others on the thread) that has brought control-mastery thinking to bear on the relational perspective or vice versa.

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