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Eisold, K. (1994). The Intolerance of Diversity in Psychoanalytic Institutes. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:785-800.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:785-800

The Intolerance of Diversity in Psychoanalytic Institutes

Kenneth Eisold

ABSTRACT

Psychoanalytic institutes, as well as other psychoanalytic organisations, historically have been prone to schisms. This paper attempts to seek out the causes for this institutional fragility in an examination of the kinds of anxiety for which these institutions provide—and ultimately often fail to provide—containment. Intolerance of diversity at one end of the spectrum and schism at the other are seen as social defences against often unrecognised forms of anxiety associated with the practice of psychoanalysis. One source of anxiety, arising from the isolation of psychoanalytic work, derives from the contradiction between the analyst's need to belong to a particular school and his need to believe he is fully receptive to the clinical material of his patient. A second source of anxiety derives from the contradiction between his membership in his organisations and his affiliations to the various pairs within which the primary work of psychoanalysis takes place. A third source of anxiety derives from his participation in the culture of psychoanalysis, which sees itself as apart from the world of social reality; psychoanalysts, as a result, devalue and fear the very institutions that connect them with that world.

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