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Bodin, G. (2004). ‘This is not psychoanalysis’ On the stony way of the Danish Psychoanalytical Society. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(5):1191-1208.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(5):1191-1208

‘This is not psychoanalysis’ On the stony way of the Danish Psychoanalytical Society

Gudrun Bodin

When Freud founded the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), he wanted a network of local groups responsible for psychoanalytic training. The groups would function as ‘headquarters whose business it would be to declare: “All this nonsense is nothing to do with analysis; this is not psychoanalysis”.’ Today, with psychoanalytic pluralism, Tuckett (in press) has asked ‘Does anything go?’ He has pointed out that the psychoanalytic community has been increasingly willing to accept within its ranks apparently very varied approaches to theory and practice, and that this increasing diversity has many negative consequences for psychoanalytic institutions and especially for training schemas. The aim of this paper is to give an example of psychoanalysis that ‘did not go’, and how that led to a shaky start for the new Danish Psychoanalytical Society, with confusing boundary relations between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and no training institute. Beginning with the written psychoanalytical contribution of the three founders of the Danish Society, the paper will try to identify factors that contributed to the ‘shaky start’. The paper will also examine how stones were removed from the path, thus paving the way for the members of the Society to discover ‘competent psychoanalysis’.

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