A Rejoinder to Stanley B. Messer and Meir Winokur

  • Paul L. Wachtel


No doubt, from the perspective of many psychoanalytic therapists an integration with behavior therapy implies a “compromise” as Messer and Winokur suggest. And their description, in the last paragraph of their commentary, of the modal views and preferences of psychoanalytic and behavioral therapists is largely an accurate one. But the issue I have been addressing is not whether one can reconcile the beliefs, attitudes, or visions of the particular individuals who are presently psychoanalytic or behavioral therapists. Such a reconciliation is necessarily limited by the habits, group identifications, personalities, and vested interests of the people involved. As the physicist Max Planck put it,

a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.


Behavioral Therapist Scientific Truth Developmental Arrest Modal View Interpersonal Experience 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul L. Wachtel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCity College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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