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Fenichel, O. (1982). Reflections on Training and Theory (1942). Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:155-161.

(1982). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 9:155-161

Reflections on Training and Theory (1942)

Otto Fenichel


The authors are editing Fenichel's private papers for publication, a potentially valuable project. Among this material they found an informal communication addressed to a meeting in 1942, including some of the most senior analysts, to discuss the reorganization of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Fenichel was not able to attend.

The authors present a brief introduction, which sketches the organizational controversies and acknowledges the fact that the paper was edited for readability and given a title.

The paper is a delight to read, and has the effect of a wise, witty, spontaneous discussion, roughly done, not tightly organized. Fenichel was passionately arguing for the preservation of standards, but history seems to suggest that he was wrong about the best organizational means to protect those standards.

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