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Wallerstein, R.S. Weinshel, E.M. (1989). The Future of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal Q., 58:341-373.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:341-373

The Future of Psychoanalysis

Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D. and Edward M. Weinshel, M.D.


We have tried, in a necessarily kaleidoscopic and highly condensed manner, to highlight our perspectives on the foreseeable future of psychoanalysis, along a number of interrelated but clearly distinct dimensions. Our discussion has dealt with the nature of our field as a science and also as a discipline, the nature of the training for it, the nature of its research, and the nature and scope of its professional practice. In all of these areas, matters seem both more complex and less clear-cut than they were in the immediate post-World War II period when we entered the field, which is now forty years ago in the approximately one-hundred-year-old history of psychoanalysis. We did not discuss in any detail the International Psychoanalytical Association or the American, its component through which we have our international membership. We have, however, via the IPA Newsletter, given voice to the organizational struggles of the International: the April 1989 issue of the Newsletter carries our account of the organizational changes within the IPA during the last four years and what we think they mean in relation to some of the issues discussed in this article. The fuller story of how our changing psychoanalytic life and identities are reflected in our institutional structures, as well as a more detailed specification of the future directions we have tried to chart in our inquiry, all deserve separate extended treatment and more complete justification.

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