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The Role of "Recognition" in the Resolution of a Specific Interpersonal Dilemma

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In this article the author argues that recognition of self or others is necessary for structural changes in our clients as well as for growth in all relationships. Recognition is seen as a way to deal with our conflicting needs as we progress toward an individuated self and as a way to solve conflicts within our relationships. From a dialectical perspective, dysfunctional interaction between partners reveals both the conflict and the lack of recognition. Various ways of resolving the dilemma are explored. An analysis of a mother-child interaction shows that intersubjectivity is basic in recognition. The dialectic perspective emphasizes in addition the threat and mutuality involved in recognition. With mutual recognition we gain ourselves both as subjects and as objects, and we preserve the relationship. Finally, implications of the dialectical way of conceptualizing relationships are summarily presented.

Affiliations: 1: University of Oslo


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