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(1992). Editorial. Free Associations, 3(3):321-322.

(1992). Free Associations, 3(3):321-322

Editorial

If certain stereotypes were strictly imposed, a large section of the population would be considered unsuitable for psychoanalysis. Only so-called neurotics would pass the suitability test, and the rest would be passed on to other forms of treatment. Similarly, only a very small group of people would be regarded as suitable to train as analysts. One would have to be the right age — somewhere between 30 and 40 — and be appropriately heterosexual. Happily, such stereotypes have been vigorously and constantly challenged. This issue of Free Associations will look at some of the basic prejudices involved, and suggest how they operate and how they can be replaced.

First, in the Free Associations Interview, Harold Searles talks about his pioneer work evolving a psychoanalytic approach to schizophrenics. He describes the kind of opposition he faced from some quarters of the American psychoanalytic community and speaks frankly of the difficult future he sees ahead for psychoanalysis as a whole.

In a special feature on the elderly, Carol Martin and Savi McKenzie-Smith look in different ways at the effects of ‘ageism’ in psychoanalysis. Carol Martin suggests that generation primes as many prejudices as racism, sexism and homophobia in psychoanalytic work, and looks at the various cultural forms in which the elderly are either ignored or disadvantaged. Savi McKenzie-Smith looks more at the problems of retirement and the kind of challenges they pose for psychoanalytic work.

Of course, prejudices and their unconscious structurings are not the exclusive property of conservatives. Ellen Herman looks at complex repressive dynamics that haunted both psychoanalysis and feminism in their early stages.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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