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Lothane, Z. (2003). Power Politics and Psychoanalysis: an Introduction. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 12(2-3):85-97.

(2003). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 12(2-3):85-97

Power Politics and Psychoanalysis: an Introduction

Zvi Lothane, M.D.

It is a privilege to be the guest editor of this special issue of the International Forum of Psychoanalysis devoted to the history of psychoanalysis, before, during and after the reign of terror of the infamous Third Reich. It is continuation of a previous such issue of The Psychoanalytic Review, “Psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in the Third Reich” I edited in 2001 (1) and a sequel to Bernd Nitzschke's ground-breaking paper on this history and the role played in it by Freud, the IPA, and Wilhelm Reich (2, 3). Even as past political controversies are being resolved in the present climate of growing psychoanalytic pluralism, it is important, I believe, to continue the preservation and study of this history, for its own sake and for the purpose of working through personal and institutional traumas.

There are many mansions in the house that Freud built. Three issues face us here: 1. a) psychoanalysis as therapy, the evolution of psychoanalytic method and theories of disorder, and the historic debates these have engendered; b) applied psychoanalysis, which includes 2. the psychoanalysis of politics and 3. the politics of psychoanalysis. Like members of other establishments, analysts are political beings but they tend to shy away, or repress, intramural discussions about psychoanalytic politics with the result that such matters have been taken over by so-called psychoanalytic dissidents and scholars in other fields, e.g., political scientists, literary critics, and journalists.

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