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Vol 08, No 3, Article 08, PDF

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Review Article: The Shadow of Freud: Is Daniel Stern still a psychoanalyst? The creative tension between the present and the past in psychoanalytic and existential psychotherapies, in Daniel Stern's The Present Moment, and his humanistic-existential partners in dialogue: Heward Wilkinson

Abstract: This paper surveys the implications of Daniel Stern's new book on 'The Present Moment', in conjunction with a parallel collection of Gestalt Therapy papers on creativity.  I consider how Stern both demarcates himself from, and places himself in a suitable relationship with, classical psychoanalysis, while at the same time mapping a model of implicit intersubjectivity knowledge of 'the present moment', in psychotherapy, which gives him strong affinities with approaches in the humanistic-existential tradition - affinities he courageously owns in this book. I further suggest, drawing from both literature and the work of Julian Jaynes, that some of the oppositions he invokes in this book are, as such, still within the classical psychoanalytic tradition and way of thinking, that he simply has inverted them, and that, on a wider, societal and historical view of human reality, it is possible to achieve a comprehensive concept of 'being-in-the-world' (Heidegger), for which the psychoanalysis / existential approach antithesis collapses, and which, nevertheless is still psychodynamic in the fundamental sense. Stern's work is a major pioneering work in its own right.

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