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Abrams, S. Shengold, L. (1978). Some Reflexions on the Topic of the 30th Congress: 'Affects and the Psychoanalytic Situation'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:395-407.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:395-407

Some Reflexions on the Topic of the 30th Congress: 'Affects and the Psychoanalytic Situation'

Samuel Abrams and Leonard Shengold

Colleagues and Guests: It is a privilege to have been asked to make these concluding remarks about the proceedings of our 30th International Congress here in Jerusalem. The stimulus of these scientific meetings is part of our heritage and—as André Green noted—a collective psychoanalytic process appears to be unfolding as we proceed from one Congress to another. We are united by our esteem for Freud, for his discoveries, and by our commitment to psychoanalysis as a therapeutic instrument. But we also have substantive disagreements. Two years ago, during our London meeting (which featured debate on traditional and new approaches to psychoanalysis) Edward Weinshel (1976) ended his summary by reminding us that we can come nearer to the resolution of our theoretical and clinical differences if we continue open discussion. This year's topic, 'Affects and the Psychoanalytic Situation', has been especially appropriate for fruitful confrontation and learning.

When Freud took a giant step by extending Terence's 'nothing human is alien to me' to the neurotic (on his journey of discovery that the neurotic means all of us), he was rebelling against the sterile, intellectually isolated, classificatory nihilism that dominated the psychiatry of his time. Freud was a passionate conquistador. His exploration of the far country of the mind brought about the discovery of the importance of the psychological underworld: the unconscious. This discovery featured a central role for what is essentially dynamic and quintessentially human—affects.

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