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Hazan, Y. (2010). On: Response to Rachel B. Blass’ Paper about the Value of Attempting to Define the Limits of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 91(5):1280-1281.

(2010). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 91(5):1280-1281

On: Response to Rachel B. Blass’ Paper about the Value of Attempting to Define the Limits of Psychoanalysis Related Papers

Yoram Hazan

Dear Editors,

Psychoanalysis is first of all a therapeutic technique and a way of thinking freely and listening carefully to a patient who is in trouble and needs our help. An attempt to exclude from psychoanalytic ‘territory’ those who do not agree to make a distinction between that which is therapeutic and that which is psychoanalytic (Blass, 2010, p. 95) reminds me of the demand to make a distinction according to an angel's gender - whether it is a female angel or a male angel. This was reasonable for its time (Middle Ages), but sounds bizarre to us now.

Not surprisingly, the metaphor that is called to justify the argument for a distinction between a true psychoanalyst and one who is not a true psychoanalyst has a religious flavor: “The concept of Christianity may be defined very broadly to refer to … some form of belief in Jesus Christ” (p. 91). I wonder if Freud would have ever suggested that a true psychoanalyst is one, and only one, who believes in him.

If some analyses are therapeutically more successful than others, it does not mean that they are not psychoanalytical. Or, if a psychoanalysis is therapeutic it does not mean that it is not truly psychoanalytical. Any distinction between these two is at least unnecessary, if not destructive.

[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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