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Fenichel, O. (1943). The Fundamental Conflict with Psychoanalysis: Gregory Zilboorg. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 480–492.. Psychoanal Q., 12:147.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Fundamental Conflict with Psychoanalysis: Gregory Zilboorg. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 480–492.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:147

The Fundamental Conflict with Psychoanalysis: Gregory Zilboorg. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 480–492.

Otto Fenichel

Preanalytic therapies of the neuroses were full of unconscious hostility. Psychoanalysis contradicted this tradition, and from the beginning met with general resistance. Psychoanalysis seems to be generally accepted today, but the old resistance has simply changed its form. Freud once stated that the main source of this resistance is narcissistic injury consequent to the psychoanalytic thesis that man is not master of his own mind. Zilboorg similarly sees in psychoanalysis a narcissistic blow to two aspects of man's wishful thinking: free will, and immortality. Psychoanalysis 'arouses enormous masses of anxiety, reawakens the sense of helplessness and leaves no alternative but to fall back into a stage of infantile passive submission to that which is law and to rise in protest and accuse psychoanalysis of being immoral, of removing the only basis for ethics and of disturbing law and order'. In Adler's teachings free will, and in Jung's, immortality of the soul, are clearly at the root of the respective resistances. The resistances of the scientific 'materialist' are also based on the inability to overcome the fear 'that the acceptance of the concept of a psychic apparatus, as evolved by Freud, might persuade him to give up the conscious or unconscious religious faith in the independence and immortality of the soul, and in free will'. The 'confusion of the psyche as a scientific concept and the soul as a theological one mobilizes in us a complex mass of narcissistic cathexes which constitutes the fundamental source of the well-nigh invincible opposition to psychoanalysis'.

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Article Citation

Fenichel, O. (1943). The Fundamental Conflict with Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Q., 12:147

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