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Normative thoughts, normative feelings, normative actions: a Protestant, relational psychoanalytic reply to E. Christian Brugger and the faculty of IPS.

The present article is a response to E. Christian Brugger's 2008 article, Anthropological Foundations of Clinical Psychology, published in the Journal of Psychology & Theology (Volume 36, Number 1). In the article, Brugger argued that all psychological theories contain implicit anthropologies complete with values and ethics. Brugger called on theoreticians to overtly explicate their philosophical and theological model. He then presented such a system from his own Catholic tradition and invited authors from other Christian traditions to constructively interact. The authors of this article dialogue with Brugger's model using Reformed and Wesleyan theology and Relational Psychoanalysis.


In the Spring 2008 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Theology (Volume 36, Number 1), E. Christian Brugger and the faculty of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences published an article entitled Anthropological Foundations for Clinical Psychology: A Proposal. In their article, they argued that embedded within all psychologies and theories of psychotherapy arc implicit anthropological assumptions which contain value systems and judgments that are ethical in nature. Brugger further remarks that the values/judgments in these theories are often unacknowledged. While theories explicate what is considered pathological, the antecedent theories of normative behavior, or in ethical language, "the good," are rarely explicitly stated.

Brugger is not the first to espouse this type of critique. Don Browning (1987) in his seminal book, "Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies", (now in its second edition, Browning and Cooper (2004) persuasively argues a similar position, suggesting that each theory of psychotherapy contains latent "metaphors of ultimacy" (1987, p. 20). Browning examined several of the most popular schools of psychotherapy and demonstrated that each theory assumes unacknowledged, forgotten, and/or dissociated metaphors of ultimacy which actually make each theory a religio-ethical system replete with an implicit anthropology, values, morals, and derivatively a system of ethics. More recently, Richardson, Fowers, and Guignon (1999) as well as Cushman (1995) have also deconstructed modern psychology and psychotherapies, exposing their unacknowledged ethics and biases.

In the wake of this deconstruction, Brugger challenges contemporary theorists to explicitly acknowledge the theological and philosophical anthropologies couched in his theory construction. Brugger believes there are three reasons why it would be helpful for theoreticians and clinicians to develop explicit accounts of the human person (i.e., an anthropology). "First, it is a way of evaluating the coherence of the ideas" (p. 5). "Second, it can assist the project of theory development" (p. 5). And third, "... formulating and publishing an account of human nature sets forth an example and invitation, even as a challenge, to other scholars forthrightly to follow suit" (p. 6). The present authors agree with Brugger's assertion that ethical psychological theory construction should be explicit with respect to anthropologies that animate those theories.

We believe that Brugger's challenge to theoreticians and clinicians also contains implications that transcend academic and clinical settings. The Christian sub-cultures, and culture at large, are adrift on seas of pragmatism that engulf the human spirit in solution-seeking activities based on inadequate theological and anthropological assumptions. One need only read the current headlines to encounter the latest demise of a Christian minister/leader informed by such inadequate assumptions, with disappointing and even calamitous results. A return to mindful moorings of our narratives of ultimacy can anchor us and thereby deter perilous drifting.

Brugger's call for full disclosure by theoreticians is consistent with contemporary philosophical hermeneutics, which recognizes the inevitability of embedded beliefs within every tradition. We are grateful for this article by Brugger, and we accept his challenge to offer constructive alternatives and additions to his project in the form of a response paper, which highlights areas of difference in a fashion that is not intended to be exhaustive. While Brugger is writing from within the Catholic tradition, the present authors are a Presbyterian and a Wesleyan (strange bedfellows indeed!). Nevertheless, being in the larger "Protestant" tradition, we conceptualize issues more alike than not. We are also both trained and practice from a psychoanalytic perspective, particularly the relational psychoanalytic tradition. Both our religious and clinical traditions will shape the anthropology that we articulate.


Brugger takes up his own challenge in the second half of his article, by explicating a theory of the human person. He suggests three theological anthropological premises (each with multiple corollaries), which then lead to 5 philosophical anthropological premises (also with multiple corollaries). The three theological premises are: a) human persons are created, b) human persons are fallen, and c) human persons are redeemed. The five philosophical premises are: a) humans are substantially one, b) humans are bodily, c) humans are interpersonally relational, d) humans are rational, and e) humans are volitional and free. While we will principally embrace his eight foundational anthropological premises, we will focus in this article on our points of difference.

Theological Anthropology

Premise One. We agree with the first theological anthropological premise that "the human person is created ... 'in the image' and after the likeness' of God," (p. 12) and we particularly appreciate the emphasis in corollary three (p. 12) upon our Creator God as a "communion of Persons" (cf. Zizoulas, (1985) and LaCugna, (1992)) for we believe that a social God made us first and foremost as relational beings to love and be loved. "The doctrine of the Trinity is not ultimately [or simply] a teaching about 'God' but a teaching about God's life with us and our life with each other. It is the life of communion and indwelling, God in us, we in God, all of us in each other" (La Cugna, 1992, p. 223 emphasis in original). We do however question the author's linking of human communion with God and each other to the assertion that" ... humans are created as per sons to know all truth, especially about God. ..." (p. 12). We find Brugger's linking of this gnosis with koinonia to be a gloss that does injustice to the primacy of human relationality and are reminded of the Apostle Paul's admonition,"... Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge, but anyone who loves God is known by Him" (I Cor. 8: 1, 2 NRSV).

We concur with the second corollary of this first premise that the human person is "constituted of a material body and spiritual soul" (Brugger, 2008, p. 12) in the limited sense that Shults (2003) articulates: "... a sense of duality, i.e., a distinction between biological and mental events, but not [a] dualism, in the sense of two separate substances." (2003, p. 180). We will say more about this below.

Premises two and three. Following the second theological premise that "the human person is fallen," with which we are in consensus, we come to our first substantive difference with the third theological premise that "the human person is redeemed" ( p. 12). While we agree with the author and Scripture that "Christ redeemed us from the curse" (Gal. 3:13); we understand that the purpose of this redemption was for Christ Jesus to come to us so that "we might receive the promise of the Spirit." (Gal, 3:14). The emphasis of this promise (cf. Joel 2:28) is not anthro-pocentric, i.e. that humans are redeemed; rather the promise is Christocentric, i.e. "as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ" (1 Cor. 15:22). Humans will be conformed to (share in) the likeness of the One who is "the firstborn" of us all (Rom. 8:29) and "the firstborn of all" (Col. 1:15, 18). Christ is not a reconstituted first Adam, but "the last Adam, ... a life-giving spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45). We find this distinction crucial so that our self-awareness is not egocentric and self-referential, i.e., "I am redeemed;" instead our awareness transcends ourselves and is other-focused, i.e. I am in Christ (Rom. 8:1), Christ is in me (Col 1:27) and being in Christ, I am a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17).

For Karl Barth, this distinction is foundational to his life work:

The last word I have to say ... is not a concept ... but a name: Jesus Christ. ... He is the ultimate One beyond world and church and even theology. We cannot lay hold of Him. But we have to do with Him. And my own concern in my long life has been increasingly to emphasize his Name and to say, 'In Him.' In Him is the spur to work, warfare and fellowship. In Him is all that I have attempted in my life in weakness and folly. It is there in Him. (Erler & Marquard, 1986, p. 113)

Our insistence on a Christocentric understanding of the human person derives from our belief that in the coming of Christ, we have apprehended not only a renewed and more comprehensive relationship to our Trinitarian God, but also a more comprehensive relationship with ourselves. In Christ's life--His relationships, His recorded normative thoughts, normative feelings and normative actions--we come to a fuller experience of what it is to be wholly human, wholly ourselves. In this Christocentric realization, we come to a more complete experience of who we are as made in the image of God. Jurgen Moltmann (1985) understands that our "true likeness to God is to be found, not at the beginning of God's history with mankind, but at its end" (1985. p.225). He further distinguishes this truer likeness to God as a developing process with an cschatological fulfillment in human beings becoming the glory of God (1985, p.228, see also, Grenz, 2001). The project for a normative theory of the human person for us cannot proceed, or even begin, without our recognition of the God-man Jesus of Nazareth, who in the course of human history is unique in His solitary achievement of a wholly normative human existence in space and time. We would therefore amend the third premise to state, "the human person is re-created," and parse the Christocentricity of our developing identity in Jesus Christ.

We will also note, but not discuss, that corollary three of the third theological premise which states "persons can become holy" (p. 12), is not uniformly agreed upon across the communions of the Christian faith. While some Protestants, notably those of a Wesleyan theology, as influenced by the Eastern centers of Orthodox Christianity, will find an affinity with this understanding of persons becoming holy (e.g., deification), other Protestants in the Reformation traditions of Luther and Calvin would articulate a bifurcated understanding of persons being simultaneously holy and just in Christ and continuing in evil apart from Christ.

Philosophical Anthropology

Premise four. Turning to the five philosophical premises concerning a normative anthropology, we are in significant agreement with the fourth premise and its correlates that "the human person is substantially one," (p. 12) although we would prefer the utilization of "soulishness" instead of "soul" with reference to the "animating principle of the living human body." By arguing that "The Soul is the animating principle of the living human body; therefore a living human body is presumptive evidence of the presence of the soul ..." (p. 12), Brugger employs a tautological argument. We prefer the signifier "soulishness" to soul "to understand that soul needs to be referred to not as a substance, but in terms of relationality" (Bal-swick, King, & Reimer, 2005, p. 24). We find affinity with Ray Anderson's (1998) sensibility of the soul "as that which represents the whole person as a physical, personal and spiritual being, especially the inner core of an individual's life as created and upheld by God" (1998, p. 193). Further we find affinity with the work of Brown, Murphy, & Malony (1998) who understand "soulishness" as an emergent property of human relatedness. While we, like Brugger, wish to avoid a reductive materialist position, we believe that one can stay true to the biblical witness (Green, 1998, 2004a, 2004b), and to emerging neuroscience findings, without positing an "immaterial, incorruptible and immortal soul" (Brugger, p. 12). For us, Brugger adds nothing of substance to his theological or philosophical anthropology by positing such a soul. The chasm which separates human beings from all other creatures, is not our possession of an immaterial and immortal soul, but our unparalleled capacity for relationship with God and each other. Our uniqueness resides in God's choice to relate to us as sons and daughters. Our soulishness is our conception of how God creates us, animates us, lives in us, recreates us and communes with us. We understand that God is intimate with us in a manner not experienced by His other creations. What is essential to us here is to emphasize our function as relational beings over speculative attempts to conceptualize our form, which gives voice to our relational purposes and telos.

Premise five. The fifth philosophical premise that "the human person is bodily," with the fourth corollary that emotions are a set of bodily "responses and reactions," is our second substantive difference with the authors. The author's placement of emotions as bodily responses and reactions could be understood both as a Thomist conception that denigrates the emotions as base or animalistic and an Augustinian bias that affect is the seat of utterly perverse bodily impulses. Both the Thomist and Augustinian characterizations of emotion privilege intellect and will as that which is most normatively human. Correspondingly, Brugger posits rational and volitional faculties as the seventh and eighth anthropological premises, while subsuming emotions as an indiscrete bodily subcategory of premise five. Curiously, he holds forth a contemporary understanding of the "human person is interpersonally relational" with premise six, while retaining a medieval taxonomy that privileges reason and will over affect in premise five.

We turn to the work of John Macmurray (1992) to consider a philosophical alternative to the author's minimalist conception of human emotions. Macmurray's starting place is the question "Is there reason in the emotional life?" He defines reason as "the capacity to behave consciously in terms of the nature of what is not ourselves;" also "reason is the capacity to behave in terms of the nature of the object, ... to behave objectively. Reason is thus our capacity for objectivity" (1992, p.7). For Macmurray, the "truth or falsity" of thoughts and feelings does not lie in them, but in the "relation between them and the things to which they refer" (1992, p. 10). We can feel rationally or irrationally and we can think rationally or irrationally.

We suggest, in agreement with Macmurray, that both thoughts and feelings are best understood as aspects of rationality. We would understand the placement of emotions as conjoined with the author's seventh philosophical premise that "the human person is rational," both intellectually and affectively. That "rational" expressions of affect are normative is best attested in the emotions of our Lord. Benjamin Warfield (1912) has provided an exegetically precise and descriptively thorough study of our Lord's emotions. He concludes:

... All that is human manifested itself in Him in perfect balance and proportion. The senses of emotions attributed to our Lord in the Evangelical narrative ... illustrate ... this balanced comprehensiveness of His individuality. Various as they are, they do not inhibit one another; compassion and indignation rise together in His Soul; joy and sorrow meet in his heart and kiss each other, ... not mere joy but exaltation, not mere irritated annoyance, but raging indignation, not mere surface-distress, but an exceeding sorrow even unto death. ... (1912, pp. 137,138) (1)

Additionally, psychoanalytic research has demonstrated that affect and thought/cognition/intellect have a binary relationship to each other. Ruth Stein's (1999) meta-analytic study of emotions leads her to state the following proposition:

Affects cannot be separated from cognitions (Lichtenberg, 1987; Mandler, 1975;Novey, 1959, 1961; Stern, 1985). Affects supply valuable and vital knowledge of personal significance to the person who experiences them (Lazarus, 1982, 1984a, 1984b; Sandler 1985, Taylor 1985; and writers on counter-transference, e.g. Heimann 1950; Little, 1951; Racker 1958; Searles, 1955, 1979; Winnicott, 1958, 1977). Thus affects are themselves a kind of cognition or knowledge; in a way, they are interpretations of the environment and of the person to himself [or herself]. A related point is the mutual relationship of affect and thought: thought influences changes or reinforces feeling, and feelings in turn generate thoughts that fit with them; the relationship is reciprocal. (1999, p. 173)

Research in cognitive neuroscience further supports these analytic findings. Damasio (1994) has demonstrated through a series of experiments with individuals that have suffered damage to the orbital frontal cortex of the brain, that even though these individuals may have intact intelligence, memory, and even normal moral and ethical reasoning abilities, they suffer deficits in making responsible everyday decisions. A disconnect appears to take place between what the individuals know they should do and their ability to rationally stop themselves from making wrong choices. This caused Damasio to posit a theory of Somatic Markers. "According to this theory, experience with the contingencies of life cause individuals to develop anticipatory evaluative (negative or positive) autonomic responses (called by Damasio "somatic markers') that become coupled to knowledge of the world" (Strawn & Brown, 2004). Often these markers are not entirely available to conscious awareness but may be made known via vague feelings toward a situation or persons. And although they may be unconscious, they nevertheless play an important role in decision-making. In other words, these unconscious, or even preconscious emotions/feelings, have their own rationality (albeit distorted at times) that assists conscious reason. In fact, we might argue that rational thought cannot occur without the availability of these emotions (as seen in the brain damaged patients).

Premise six. Brugger's philosophical premise six states: "the human person is interpersonally relational" (p. 13). In that we find primary affinity in our psychological theory and practice with relational psychoanalysis, we understand this premise as the keystone of the five philosophical anthropological premises. Brugger's sixth corollary of premise six that humans are "communally situated" (p. 13) is particularly important to us in that "it is only in relation to others that we exist as persons. ... We live and move and have our being not in ourselves but in one another" (Macmurray, 1991, p. 211). We concur with Paul Vitz (2006) who asserts that "the only serious understanding of early interpersonal relationships of an interpersonal kind-at least with regard to later mental and interpersonal problems-is that found in the psychoanalytic tradition known as object relations theory" (2006, p. 120). (2) We further concur with Vitz concerning life span development, that "As human beings grow and change and become inter-personally and intellectually more mature, they recognize a process and a trajectory of transcendence in their own life" (2006, p. 127, emphasis in original). We value Jessica Benjamin's (1990) theory of inter-subjectivity as contributing to an understanding of transcendence. Benjamin, building upon Hegel, Winnicott (1989), and Mitchell (1988), asserts that subjectivity--that is, alterity in the sense of "transcendence,"--is acquired through, and only through, relationship with another subject. Hence, a mother is primitively perceived by her infant as undifferentiated from itself until the mother's individual needs conflict with those of her infant to such an extent that the infant attacks the mother. The mother's "survival" of the infant's assaults disabuses the infant of its sense of omnipotence (immanence as demonstrated by control of mother) and promotes the infant's recognition both of the mother's otherness (i.e., transcendence) and of the limits of the infant's sense of self. This recognition becomes the basis of the infant's respect for, and love of, the "other" [or mother]. Throughout the process of healthy lifespan maturation, people re-experience the dissonance of the other's subjectivity and are enriched through the difference of the "other." In relational theory, this maturational trajectory of transcendence is cumulative though discontinuous and is often lost and repeatedly rediscovered. (3)

Premises seven and eight. Having given considerable attention to emotions as rational, we will in the interest of space, not comment further on philosophical premise seven that "the human person is rational" (p. 13) and focus our attention on philosophical premise eight--that "the human person is volitional and free" (p. 13). The literature on "free will" is so extensive and therefore so ambiguous, that we would suggest that the authors replace the signifier "free" in this premise with another word that they utilize as synonymous, i.e. agentic.

We value again the philosophy of Macmurray (1992) and his understanding of freedom and choice:

The controversy about free will is insoluble ... because the problem itself is wrongly conceived. [We assume that the person] must necessarily behave in terms of his own nature, like anything else. [i.e. organic and material objects]. This assumption is at fault. Reason is the capacity to behave not in terms of our own nature, but in terms of our knowledge of the nature of the world outside. (1992. pp.7-8 )

As psychoanalysts, we understand that the freedom to choose is mediated by the extent to which a person is compromised by unconscious processes, including irrational emotions and distorted perceptions of reality and personal history, which actualize irrational, immoral, destructive and /or unloving choices. Macmurray continues:

The main difficulty that faces us in the development of a scientific knowledge of the world lies ... in our own emotional life. It is our desire to retain beliefs to which we are emotionally attached ... In practice, the desire for truth is the desire to be disillusioned. ... The development of reason in us means overcoming all of this ... to acquire greater and greater capacity to act objectively and not in terms of our subjective constitution. (1992. pp. 7-9)

In relational psychoanalytic theory, "acting not in terms of our subjective [distorting] constitution" (see above) is living in the intersubjective tension of being oneself while recognizing and thereby respecting the separateness of the "other." According to Benjamin (1990), mutual recognition (recognition of both self and other as subjects) is a pre-condition for the personal freedom to choose for good for self and other, [i.e. loving one's neighbor as one's self]. Aron (1998) utilizing the work of James (1890) and Bach (1985, 1994), and expanding on Benjamin's thoughts, posits the inevitability and desirability of self-interest, describing a "reflexive mind" that oscillates between concern for self and concern for other. In the absence of a reflexive mind, a person is handicapped by an " inability to tolerate ambiguity and paradox, to deal with metaphor, or to maintain multiple points of view, especially about the self. Instead, in psychopathology, we find polarization, splitting, either-or- thinking, manic and depressive mood swings and sadomasochistic role reversals" (Aron, 1998, p. 7).

Psychoanalytic formulations regarding the limitations upon free will are also supported by findings in cognitive neuroscience. Human conscious awareness is a limited resource. We can only attend to so many things at one time. Because of the high demands of information processing in every-day life, and the limited amount of conscious awareness one is capable of, automaticity is an essential survival tool. This means that much of our behavior is determined by previous learning. In fact researchers in the cognitive study of automaticity suggest that only about 5% of our moment-to-moment behavior is consciously controlled (see Strawn & Brown, 2004). This leaves 95% of our behavior outside of conscious awareness. Automaticity is therefore the unconscious elicitation of procedural memory and unconscious motivations and affects (Strawn & Brown, 2004).

While the concept of automaticity may suggest that humans are not as free as they would like to think they are-this does not mean that they are wholly determined either. Humans do have the ability to direct their limited attention to aspects of their behavior that previously has been outside of awareness (in psychoanalytic terms-unconscious). This possibility, albeit difficult capability, is certainly inhibited by Damasio's (1994) barely conscious, (or not conscious at all), somatic markers. We believe that psychoanalysis can be particularly helpful in aiding a patient to look at, perhaps for the first time, affect, cognition, and behavior that heretofore has been unacknowledged, and yet may be causing the patient great distress in life. This possibility is adroitly developed, within a relational psychoanalytic perspective, by Donnel Stern in his 1997 title Unformulated Experience: From Dissociation to Imagination in Psychoanalysis.

Brugger acknowledges limitations to freedom in the second corollary concerning volition, but believes that these can be overcome by the development of moral virtues, which, will actualize the choice for good, and avoidance of evil. We could not disagree more. We find this failing paradigm for the avoidance of evil to be unsatisfying, especially in the light of countless told and untold accounts of moral failures by our religious leaders and spiritual mentors. While consideration of personified evil may be beyond the scope of the author's proposal, we must tarry with the understanding that evil human motives frequently breach the parapets of moral virtue. The evil wolf deploys in many garbs including sheep's clothing. Sue Grand (2000) understands evil as the "perverse hungering for [unhealthy early object-relations) as a reprieve from the objectlessness of annihilation (Fairbairn, 1952a, b; Guntrip 1971)." She explains:

... Evil seduces with its perverse promise of recognition. Evil will always be constituted so that victim after victim is accompanied by her perpetrator to the obscure solitude of extinction. In each new victim, the perpetrator shares his own catastrophic loneliness, in what Bollas (1995) calls the "companionship of the dead." Evil always reaches its terminus in shared loneliness and in the shared disappearance of selves. (2000, p. 7, also cf. Prov. 1:10-19).

We believe that moral and intellectual virtues are often insufficient to the overcoming of evil with good unless the virtues are imbued with conscious normative emotions. "It is emotion which stands directly behind activity [i.e. choice] determining its substance and direction, while thought is related to action [choice] indirectly and through emotion, determining only its form and that only partially." (Macmurray, 1992, p. 11). Our psychoanalytic and theological understanding (supported by cognitive neuroscience) of the person, leads us to believe that one may not simply apply cognitive knowledge to a moral dilemma and overcome it if there are aspects of the personality (e.g., unconscious object relations and affects) that are motivating the person in unknown ways. These unknown and unacknowledged personal dynamics will deploy as defensive operations (repression, denial, dissociation, etc.) and continue to propel a person toward rationally objectionable but affectively desirable choices. As Paul writes, "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" (Romans 7:15, NRSV). Clearly Paul knew what he wanted to do and was prone to utilize reason in his pursuit of "the good." Consequently, we concur with Fairbairn (1952b) and Guntrip (1952) that psychotherapy (and we believe the process of spiritual transformation) involves a kind of exorcism of internal/unconscious/ irrational affects, cognitions, and object relations. Hence humans are in need of re-creation through relationship with the "other" which potentiates the development of more normative object relations, affects and cognitions; these in turn can prompt choices to act in the service of individuals living in friendship and love. Without a "stripping of the psyche," a new coat of paint may look good for a while, but will eventually result in cracking, further deterioration and ultimately destruction.


Finally, because we concur that explicitly exposing one's anthropology is essential, we would further state that there is one more important reason for being clear about one's implicit anthropology, personal tradition, and psychotherapeutic orientation. If, as Brugger asserts, all psychologists enter their work with unspoken anthropological "traditions," and if these traditions contain deep metaphors of ultimacy, then they are indeed religio-ethical systems (Browning, 1987; Browning &c Cooper, 2004). In this case, the practice of psychotherapy itself has a moral dimension. We agree with Cushman (1995) that psychotherapy can therefore be understood as a moral discourse between patient and therapist. Every therapist's subjectivity is permeated by explicit and implicit beliefs concerning what is normal, healthy, and even how one "ought" to live a "good life." Patients' subjectivities may contain very different ethics than those of the psychotherapist. The task of the ethically sensitive therapist is neither to hide one's values "under a bushel", nor to flood the patient with self-disclosure, advice or moral reproof. As psychologists who happen to be Christians, we must become aware, as much as we can, of our traditions, values, and countertransferences. We may then come to recognize that our psychotherapy is a conversation between two individuals about ethics as well as pathology.


Again, we express our gratitude to the author for this significant and valuable project of formulating a harmonious account of normative human nature for clinical psychology. We have focused on our alternative perspectives regarding the author's a) elevation of belief in the human capacity to "know all truth" to the same level of significance as the human capacity for communion with God and each other, b) assertions regarding the form of the human soul, c) anthropocentric focus on the redemption of humankind, d) marginalization of human emotions, and c) reliance upon the instillation of moral virtues as sufficient for choosing good and avoiding evil. We have also articulated a relational perspective of the intersubjective field as the cauldron where narcissism can be transformed to love through encountering the "other." We have been explicit regarding our subjectivities as variant Protestant Christians and relational psychoanalysts. We have called for integrity not only in theory construction but also in psychotherapeutic relating. We hope that our musings will be of benefit to the author's project and that the author will have experienced our words as not only deconstructive, but as constructive dialogue.


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HOFFMAN, L. W. Address: 1150 Glenlivet Drive, Suite A-15, Allentown, PA 18106. Title: Clinical Psychologist and Co-Director, Brookhaven Center for Counseling and Development; Co-Director, Society for the Exploration of Psychoanalytic Therapies and Theology (SEPTT). Degrees: BA, Bob Jones University; MAR, Theology, Westminster Seminary; MS, Counseling, Villanova University; PhD, Clinical Psychology, Union Institute; Certificate, Post-Doctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University. Specialization: Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

STRAWN, B. D. Address: 6729 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK, 73008. Title: Vice President for Spiritual Development and the Dean of the Chapel, Southern Nazarcnc University, Bethany, OK: Assoc. Director, Society for the Exploration of Psychoanalytic Therapies and Theology (SEPTT). Degrees: BA, Point Loma Nazarenc University; MA, Theology, Fuller Seminary; PhD, Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology, Fuller Seminary. Specializations: Integration of psychology/psychoanalysis and theology and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.


Brookhaven Center for Counseling & Development


Southern Nazarene University

Please address correspondence to L. W. Hoffman, PhD, 1150 Glenlivet Drive, Suite A-15, Allentown, PA 18106. Email:

(1) We arc indebted to John Carter, Ph.D. for reminding us of Warficlds contribution to this topic.

(2) Object relations theory along with interpersonal psychoanalytic theory is foundational to the developments of relational psychoanalysis. We recognize as well the valuable contributions of attachment theory and understand this area of study to be consistent with and explanatory of object relational concepts.

(3) I (LWH) am grateful to Marie Hoffman, Ph.D. for her careful reading of this manuscript and in particular, her suggestions regarding this section.
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Title Annotation:Institute for the Psychological Sciences
Author:Hoffman, Lowell W.; Strawn, Brad D.
Publication:Journal of Psychology and Theology
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2009
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