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Dreyfus, P. (1978). Panel and Open Forum on the Ego Ideal of the Psychoanalyst. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:391-393.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:391-393

Panel and Open Forum on the Ego Ideal of the Psychoanalyst

Peter Dreyfus

The Chairman of the Panel and the Open Forum was Serge Lebovici (Paris). He introduced the panellists and invited them to discuss their views on the topic of 'The Ego Ideal of the Psychoanalyst' that had previously been introduced in the papers given by E. Joseph (this issue) and D. Widlöcher (this issue).

Evelyne Kestemberg opened the discussion. Her contribution centred on the question of how the psychoanalytic institutions impinge on the development of the ego ideal of the psychoanalyst. She stated that it is inevitable that narcissistic wounds are inflicted on the psychoanalyst in the psychoanalytic situation and that the psychoanalytic institution does not ease the pain of these wounds but helps to diminish the ideology that is made of the ego ideal, it helps to humanize it. The institution can act as a superego that creates a protective paternal image which can help us to give up our infantile illusions of grandiosity that are inherent in the ego ideal. The institution in its role as a protective superego can also help us to deal with another difficulty in our analytical practice: the erotization of that practice. The pleasure of functioning as an analyst is great and necessary. But it can become so large as to lead to an actual erotization. By this Kestemberg meant a defensive erotization that prevents the development of the analytic process. The institution also serves us as a measure of how far we all and each one of us are from being the ideal analyst.

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