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W., H. (1948). A Valedictory Address: Ernest Jones. Int. J. Psa., XXVII, 1946, pp. 7–12.. Psychoanal Q., 17:285-286.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: A Valedictory Address: Ernest Jones. Int. J. Psa., XXVII, 1946, pp. 7–12.

(1948). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 17:285-286

A Valedictory Address: Ernest Jones. Int. J. Psa., XXVII, 1946, pp. 7–12.

H. W.

Jones asks what defenses have taken the place of the original reactions of panic and anger which have largely subsided against psychoanalytic concepts. He warns us that to propagandize psychoanalysis belligerently merely stimulates 'stronger opposition'. Freud and Darwin answered their opponents simply by producing more evidence. Yet this is no longer enough when we consider the critical danger in which society finds itself 'and how far those in need of our help are from taking seriously the very existence of such help'. The original vociferous resistances have simply hardened into silent social resistances against which we are almost helpless.

Early analysts were a close-knit group, in more or less constant contact with each other, marching evenly in line. With greater diffusion, separatist tendencies

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reflecting differing social philosophies have appeared: Asia's preoccupation with religion, America's quest for quick returns in shorter analyses 'which look more like anamneses than analyses'. Aside from such differences, Jones believes 'that the greater part of the divergencies and discords proceed from more personal sources, however much they may be disguised in the garb of theoretical differences'. From his personal experience with many such 'painful situations', Jones believes that the problem can 'be attacked only on general lines'. He infers that 'complete inner harmony is more difficult to achieve by means of psychoanalysis than we think', that there 'may well be an innate factor akin to the General Intelligence G, the nature of which it still remains to elucidate, but which may be of cardinal importance in the final endeavor to master the deepest infantile anxieties, to tolerate painful ego-dystonic impulses or affects…'. He thinks this factor may be a hereditary, physiological one. A knowledge along such lines 'should in time provide us with a more objective criterion for the selection of future practitioners of analysis than any we at present possess.'

Jones feels that while the original ideal of 'a veritable identity' of theoretical conclusions, technique and practice among psychoanalysts can no longer be hoped for, yet 'it is now being replaced by the more practicable, though difficult enough, endeavor to distinguish between what constitutes the essential characteristics of psychoanalysis and what are superimposed and more varying features'. Freud's dictum that the essential characteristics are simply those of studying unconscious processes by means of the technique of free association must not be dogmatized and anyone trained in psychoanalysis by standards similar to those evolved by medicine should be free 'to modify both the theory and practice of what he has learnt'.

He pleads for an ever closer integration of psychoanalysis with the main body of medical science. He maintains that 'if admission to the ranks of practising analysts was equally open to medical and nonmedical candidates, the result in time would be a flooding of the latter' and 'we should in time develop a separate and nonmedical profession, which in my opinion would prove most injurious to the interests of our work'. Only lay people who possess 'pre-eminent psychological gifts' should be trained. The experience of the British Society justifies this practice: 'Our Society is fundamentally a medical one, but we have enlisted from elsewhere a number of exceptionally valuable members'. The medical profession must further be made aware of the ubiquity of psychopathology and medical students should be introduced to it via a biological, then clinical and finally a psychological approach.

Finally, Jones feels that the fundamental inquiry of psychoanalysis is into the very nature of biological drives and instincts and 'to ascertain what exactly comprise the irreducible mental elements, particularly those of a dynamic nature'. He believes that the dichotomy of body and mind 'will be found to be based on an illusion'.

In anticipating those critics who think he advocates too great a 'tolerance towards diversities and even divergencies', Jones states that he derives his confidence from his 'conviction in the ultimate power of truth'.

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Article Citation

W., H. (1948). A Valedictory Address. Psychoanal. Q., 17:285-286

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