Merton M. Gill:A Study in Theory Development in Psychoanalysis


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Gill’s intellectual style is to steadfastly pursue the logical implications of a particular line of thought without shrinking from their consequences for entrenched tradition. At the same time, in dialectical relationship with this tendency, his convictions about theory, research, and practice are united by his readiness to turn a critical eye on his own perpective and to consider other points of view. Thus despite the vigor with which he has advocated and defended his position, Gill has also actively explored the points of convergence and divergence of his own views and those of Gedo, Melanie Klein, Kohut, Sullivan, and Langs among many others. The very fact that he is actively engaged in dialogue with exponents of these diverse perspectives (as reflected by his publications, speaking engagements, and extensive correspondence) testifies to the bridge-building role that Gill now occupies in the field.

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