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Rangell, L. (1995). Psychoanalytic Realities And The Analytic Goal. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:15-18.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:15-18

Psychoanalytic Realities And The Analytic Goal

Leo Rangell

One-hundred years ago, almost to the year, Sigmund Freud discovered a new continent. As was the new land continent discovered by another European explorer 400 years previously, it was real—in spite of its central feature being that the self which harbours it does not wish to know of its existence or contents. Hence, it could not be more appropriate that the subject of psychic reality has been chosen as the theme for this Congress by the first President of the International Psychoanalytical Association to come from the southern half of this new expanded world.

When Freud (1897, see Freud, 1887-1902) moved from seduction to fantasy, from the concrete to the psychological as an explanatory concept, a split was allowed to develop on the basis of a fallacy, which, to this day, seems never to have been corrected. It is difficult to say which group represents the larger number today: those who believe seduction has been betrayed (Freud's moral motives are even impugned to account for the shift), or those who hold that external experiences are false, unimportant or diversionary. To make one advance is to discard another. I will focus on a central theme, for the cumulative accretion of knowledge and understanding, while guarding against the simultaneous loss of these in the process. The fact is that Freud discovered two streams of aetiology sequentially; the fused outcome can only be explained by both together. The discovery of a new reality did not exclude or diminish the reality previously known.

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