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Young-Eisendrath, P. (2009). Psychoanalysis as Inquiry and Discovery, not Suspicion. Contemp. Psychoanal., 45(3):363-369.

(2009). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45(3):363-369

Psychoanalysis as Inquiry and Discovery, not Suspicion

Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D.

The traditional psychoanalytic institute and culture, I argue, breed a “hermeneutic of suspicion” (Ricoeur, 1970) that is contrary to what is needed to promote a two- (or more) person psychology. Instead of suspicion, I recommend in my ideal psychoanalytic institute, a hermeneutic of inquiry and discovery, that requires emotional intelligence, equanimity, and respect in dealing with different points of view and different people. I also imagine an ideal curriculum and clinical training program to support a new hermeneutic that would reduce the defensive splitting and destructive dynamics that have abounded in the 100-year history of psychoanalysis.

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