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Bychowski, G. (1969). Social Climate and Resistance in Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:453-459.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:453-459

Social Climate and Resistance in Psychoanalysis

Gustav Bychowski

It is a common enough observation that the ego of a person undergoing psychoanalysis finds justification and rationalization for various phases and forms of resistance in the social climate. Some aspects of the social milieu and of the spirit of the time provide a most favourable material, especially fit to be taken up by resistance and difficult to be worked through in analysis. This brings up the problem of social derivation of some elements of the neurotic personality.

In the present communication I wish to offer a few clinical vignettes illustrative of this situation and falling into certain patterns. I shall then attempt some conclusions relevant for our therapeutic technique. I shall terminate by the discussion of the limitations of the social impact of psychoanalysis. The latter point seems of particular importance in view of the increasing interest in the psychoanalysis of social issues and situations and, consequently, of psychoanalysis perhaps joining hands with social psychiatry.

The shallowness of the object relations is nowadays a frequent feature and is more difficult to work through when it is prevalent in the social milieu of the patient. This is most striking in the sphere of relations between sexes where individual psychopathology coincides ever so often with the social climate where it finds its easy rationalization.

L. sought psychoanalytic help at the age of 40 for reasons of his patent inability to form a stable relationship with a woman. After many trials he found himself more lonely and isolated than ever before, with his typical sexual dichotomy reasserting itself on the occasion of every new love affair.

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