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Witenberg, E.G. (1984). William Alanson White Institute Fortieth Anniversary Symposium—Psychoanalytic Controversies and the Interpersonal Tradition. Contemp. Psychoanal., 20:169-173.

(1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 20:169-173

William Alanson White Institute Fortieth Anniversary Symposium—Psychoanalytic Controversies and the Interpersonal Tradition

Earl G. Witenberg, M.D.

Welcoming Remarks

ON BEHALF OF THE WILLIAM ALANSON WHITE INSTITUTE of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology, I welcome you to this aspect of our celebration of our 40th year. An anniversary is a genial affair when one can look back, regard the present and anticipate the future. As Levi-Strauss once said, "History leads to everything, but with the exception one leaves it behind." I shall begin with some brief and incomplete comments about our founders, in alphabetical order.

The first is Erich Fromm. Erich Fromm received the Goethe Prize in literature in 1980. His books sold 365, 000 copies in West Germany during 1982. His point of view is Hegelian-Marxist. A dialectician to the core, as well as a German romantic idealist, his bias is social change. His continuing vitality is seen in his humanist conception of the person as an active, purposeful, responsible being. He can be identified as a harbinger of the current phase, the psychology of the self. His concepts of symbiosis, narcissism, and social character endure to this day. He served as chairman of our faculty from 1943 to 1950, participating in the founding of the clinical services at the Institute and of the admission of Ph.D. clinical psychologists for full training.

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