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Berthelsdorf, S. (1983). Meeting of the Oregon Psychoanalytic Foundation and the Oregon Psychiatric Association. Psychoanal Q., 52:155-158.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:155-158

Meeting of the Oregon Psychoanalytic Foundation and the Oregon Psychiatric Association

Siegfried Berthelsdorf

April 23, 1982. THE PROBLEM OF INTEGRITY. Leo Rangell, M.D.

The place of psychoanalysis in the intellectual life of the twentieth century, according to Dr. Rangell, stems not from its specific discoveries but from the significance of these for the general psychology of man. Referring to the premises of his recently published book, The Mind of Watergate: An Exploration of the Compromise of Integrity, Dr. Rangell suggested an analogous extension of his present findings with regard to moral conflicts. As with anxieties, phobias, depression, and neuroses, problems of integrity manifested in individual psychopathology are also of importance for their implications for a general psychology. The spread from the specific to the general, however, is often the defensive path by which the individual attempts to isolate himself from responsibility for his actions. This was the case with individual reactions to Nixon's behavior which varied from "he didn't do it" to "everyone does it." By a similar mechanism one patient's reactions alternated between anxiety and guilt about expressing anger to a defensive attitude of "doesn't everyone have that trouble?"

Dr. Rangell described at some length the methodology of his unique psychoanalytic study of the national crisis of the Watergate period. The data available to the American public, as well as the widespread defensive and distorting mechanisms by which these were received, processed, and reacted to, were observed and recorded as the events were taking place.

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