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Poland, W.S. (2009). Problems of Collegial Learning in Psychoanalysis: Narcissism and Curiosity. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(2):249-262.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(2):249-262

Problems of Collegial Learning in Psychoanalysis: Narcissism and Curiosity

Warren S. Poland

Despite clinical sensitivity when listening to patients, analysts have not fared well in hearing and talking to each other with respectful open-mindedness. Underlying factors are considered with particular focus on the interplay between self-aimed forces of narcissism and outward-aimed forces of curiosity. Included in examination of problems of collegial communication are limitations structurally inherent to the human mind (such as the need to abstract aspects of experience in order to focus attention plus the mind's tendency to categorical thinking), those derived from individual psychology (such as vulnerability of self-esteem), and those related to group dynamics (such as the problems attendant to new ideas and the allegiances they stir, parochialism and the development of radical schools, the competitiveness between schools). The contribution of cultural influences and the multiply determined uses of language are also highlighted. The core sense of smallness in the strangeness of the universe and in the presence of others is seen as a common thread.

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