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Laufer, E. (2004). Response to Andrew Cooper. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(3):750-751.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(3):750-751

Response to Andrew Cooper Related Papers

Eglé Laufer

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to Andrew Cooper's letter. I accept Dr Cooper referring to my response, as containing ‘an answering sense of hurt pride’. But my sense of hurt came from what I felt was a lack of pride in what has been achieved by psychoanalysis, first by Freud and then those that have come after him. I don't accept that the history of psychoanalysis is 100 years of a marasmic night from which we can only now emerge by changing our institutional life.

I am grateful to Dr Cooper for sharing his experience at the Tavistock Clinic which led him to the importance of the need to find a way to foster the possibility of ‘organisational self-knowledge’ in an institution that is engaged in psychoanalytic clinical and teaching activities. Without such self-knowledge, he says, the organisation cannot maintain a creative dialogue. He cites the experience at the Tavistock Clinic as being that, without such organisational self-knowledge, arguments can become experienced as having a life or death quality. I believe that this also lies at the heart of our problem in our teaching institutions. But I think it is not only the lack of organisational self-knowledge which is the problem in our institutes, but also the resistance which is always at work against experiencing the personal self-knowledge which is an essential part of the learning process of psychoanalytic knowledge.

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