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Arundale, J. (1999). Introductory Comments from the Chairman. Brit. J. Psychother., 15(4):463-464.

(1999). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 15(4):463-464

BJP/Freud Museum Conference: Analysing the Oedipus Complex: Why it is Still Central

Introductory Comments from the Chairman

Jean Arundale

This is the sixth conference held jointly by the British Journal of Psychotherapy and the Freud Museum and the collaboration between our two organizations has been highly beneficial all around. Not only does it provide worthwhile conference events for the public, but the proceeds of this conference will go to the Freud Museum to help support their programmes, and the BJP has the opportunity to publish the fine papers that have been prepared for the Conference. I'd like to thank Erica Davies, the curator, Ivan Ward, the Education Officer, and all the staff, for the work that has made the Conference possible.

To introduce our topic. Much of the groundwork on Freud's monumental book The Interpretation of Dreams was completed before 1896; however its publication in 1900 would have to await Freud's own self-analysis, the analysis of his dreams, and the further thinking that led to his discovery of the Oedipus complex. Adopting the myth of Oedipus Rex, Freud introduced his new idea in The Interpretation of Dreams, saying:

The destiny of King Oedipus moves us only because it might have been ours - because the oracle laid the same curse upon us before our birth as upon him. It is the fate of all of us, perhaps, to direct our first sexual impulse towards our mother and our first hatred and our first murderous wish against our father. Our dreams convince us that that is so. King Oedipus, who slew his father Laius and married his mother Jocasta, merely shows us the fulfilment of our own childhood wishes.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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