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Ellis, M. (1994). Lesbians, gay men and psychoanalytic training. Free Associations, 4(4):501-517.

(1994). Free Associations, 4(4):501-517

Debate: Homosexuality and Psychoanalytic Training

Lesbians, gay men and psychoanalytic training1

Mary Lynne Ellis

It is no coincidence that while I was engaged in the research for this paper I developed, for the first time, a taste for detective novels. Hot on the trail to discover who is responsible for what can only be described as a ‘cover-up’, I have found my investigative abilities tested to the full. In what follows I shall describe how my hunt for the culprits led me into a web of intrigue that hovers over consulting rooms in those elegant North London suburbs Islington, Hampstead and Highgate.

Which psychoanalytic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy training organizations do exclude lesbians and gay men from training, and what are their motives? It might appear at first to be relatively straightforward to establish this. We might imagine that a simple question along these lines could be asked of each of the organizations. The claims made for and against the suitability of lesbians and gay men for careers as psychotherapists or psychoanalysts could then be engaged with and debated. However, one of the salient findings which has emerged from my research is that any such clear statements are exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to extract from several of the major and most influential training institutions.

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