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Tuesday, 8 January 2019




3. Evading Facing the Crisis of Psychoanalysis.
It is not a bad assumption that the IPA’s recent interest in research is a reaction to a new situation that requires making decision about it, in a scientific way, based on research. The obvious interest of the membership in that assumption also reflects a certain dissatisfaction with aspect in our “craft” of psychoanalysis. But what is it? Up till now the enthusiasm about research was not supported by any definitive identification of what will be researched. Research should not be an objective; it is only the means to reach an objective.

It is also not a bad assumption to think that the declining interest in psychoanalysis by the public and the lack of its appeal to the new professionals is creating a crisis for the IPA, and the local societies. The crisis is not only the gradual loss of the credibility of the institutions of psychoanalysis; it also divests those institutions of the absolute right to accredit anything “psychoanalytic”. However, the different attempts to dealing with the crisis in psychoanalysis look like efforts to evade dealing with it. I am not talking here about unconscious motives but flaws in the approaches taken to face the crisis. Research, as one of those approaches, implies that the crisis is caused by lack of having  the right image of the effectiveness of psychoanalysis and providing the public with it.
The IPA, from its beginning has adopted the attitude of not taking ownership of its role in the decline of psychoanalysis, except in the final report on The Actual Crisis of Psychoanalysis (1995). In that reports there were the usual blaming the crisis on social and political reasons, but most of the opinions dealt with issues of theoretical confusion, training and the formation of the psychoanalyst, the lack of rigor in articulating the standards of psychoanalysis. Presently, the IPA and most psychoanalysts stipulate different reasons for the crisis mostly related to problems with the traditional classical theory, though show complete loyalty to its method of training.  This too is not matter of unconscious motivation but a result of separating ourselves from the crisis and placing the blame on anything else but us. The crisis is the crisis of the psychoanalysts: aren’t we the ones who are failing t solve the crisis, if not possibly being its cause!

The most upsetting thing about the attitude the IPA, and the analysts are taking is the blatant ‘narcissistic’ nature of that attitude. Narcissism is identifying with an image, as Narcissus did, and not identifying ourselves first then looking for our image next. We have an image of ourselves as professional of a special status (not just psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers). But the trend is that if we pass the IPA training therefore, we could claim to being different (better). Learning and being trained in psychoanalysis  does not make us better psychologists, psychiatrist or social workers. It makes us just psychoanalysts,Then we are on our own: some will be good analysts and some will not. 


Identifying one’s self as that improved professional that we were before our training in psychoanalysis is putting the makeup on one’s reflection in a mirror instead of on one’s face. Even the psychoanalytic organizations fall in the trap of narcissism in the same manner: the IPA sees itself as an organization of a special status because it teaches, trains and graduates its breed of professionals, i.e., an organization that engenders its own reason d’etre by having the right to ordain its members.  Moreover, having been the only organization that has the right to train analysts added a complication to its narcissism: it has the right to make from some professionals a superior class of practitioners, thus it’s a step above their academic education without any proof of that distinction.
The point to make is that the narcissistic core of the IPA and of the psychoanalysts allows disowning failure and encourages denial and self deception. I honestly believe that many psychoanalysts are honest enough to allow themselves those aberrations. Refusing to wear the psychoanalytic uniform of narcissism puts the analyst in conflict with his organization.

This prologue is to explain the reason and the objective of this posting, which is a call for looking closely and seriously into the IPA system of training and the formation of the psychoanalysts of today. To do that the proper way, we have to look for the point when we were still part of a new movement in the field of the humanities and at what point we seized to be part of those pioneers. Research will not respond to those questions but sensible educated points of view could.

I intend to do that by posting my point view in my blog and just mention that on the open line. The jest of my point of view is not the popular of view amongst psychoanalysts; more so in the USA but is that crisis in psychoanalysis is that we still use the IPA system of training that has been improvised and applied over a hundred years ago. Psychoanalysis is an evolving unique body of knowledge which should always review and revise itself; naturally its way of forming the psychoanalyst too.

Borrowing from open line's daly saying:
"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly."
Henri Bergson

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