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Terman, D.M. (2009). Letter from Chicago. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(2):205-207.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(2):205-207

Letter From…

Letter from Chicago

David M. Terman

We, in Chicago, are quite conscious of our long and distinguished analytic tradition. We are the second oldest Institute in the USA, founded in February 1932 just five months after the New York Psychoanalytic and five or six months before those of Boston and Washington. Founded by a lay board to induce Franz Alexander to return to Chicago after a disastrous year at the University of Chicago, the Chicago Institute was bequeathed a tradition of lay support and control and a spirit of independence and inquiry.

Chicago has been heir to the tradition of Berlin, the first organized psychoanalytic institute, of which Alexander was the first graduate. As a result, Chicago has had a highly organized curriculum, conscientious evaluations and serious attention to the didactic portions of psychoanalytic education.

But Chicago has also had a creative and rebellious impulse that has challenged accepted wisdom, beginning with Alexander's experimentation with elements of the psychoanalytic situation, extending through the development of Kohut's self psychology, and now meeting the challenges of the changing climate for psychoanalytic practice and education.

The difficulties for psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic training in Chicago are similar to the problems faced in many other areas of the United States. The popular culture deems psychoanalysis passé — expensive, lengthy and of uncertain benefit. The lure and promise of other approaches are widely touted. Added to the general negative cultural bias are the reduced financial circumstances of many who would be trained.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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