Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Robert Wallerstein - Jung and the Common Ground of Psychoanalysis

Dr. Wallerstein is the former President of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association.

"I look for the commonality and the common ground in the experience - near-clinical phenomena. And the divergences are there in the theoretical explanatory structures that create a particular language in which to explain the clinical phenomena, and those are still not scientific but metaphoric languages whether we're talking ego, id and superego, whether we're talking part objects and whole objects, or depressive and paranoid positions, or cohesive selfobjects and fragmenting selfobjects....I hope it [psychoanalysis] can be kept one discipline, and I think - you see, Freud felt, for reasons suitable to his time in history and all that, that he had to maintain the absolute purity of a purified theoretical structure and that anybody who deviated from it would feel that they had to leave or be pushed off starting with Adler, Jung, and Stekel back in the teens of the century, going all through his lifetime. There are people who are saying today, and I think they're right, if the Jungian viewpoint had arisen today, it would be accomodated within the body of psychoanalysis the way Kohut has been, rather than Jungians feeling they had to leave. The kind of unity that Freud tried to impose was an impossible one because it demanded real orthodoxy." (p. 333)

Robert Wallerstein as interviewed in Virginia Hunter (1994). "Psychoanalysts Talk." The Guilford Press: New York/London.

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