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Aron, L. (2009). Day, Night, or Dawn: Commentary on Paper by Steven Stern. Psychoanal. Dial., 19(6):656-668.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19(6):656-668

Day, Night, or Dawn: Commentary on Paper by Steven Stern

Lewis Aron, Ph.D.

It was in the years immediately following World War II and through the 1950s that the psychoanalytic establishment officially defined psychoanalysis as a subspecialty of psychiatry, and it was in that context of the professionalization of American medicine that they codified the distinction between psychoanalysis and (psychoanalytic) psychotherapy. In this commentary on Steven Stern's “Session Frequency and the Definition of Psychoanalysis,” I deconstruct a series of binaries that was built into the analysis/therapy distinction and that has plagued our discipline. It is argued that psychoanalysis identified itself with the culturally “masculine” and heterosexual values of autonomous individuality (the intrapsychic), while it split off all that was relational and social (interpersonal), marked as “feminine,” homosexual, and “primitive,” onto psychotherapy, which it then devalued. The paper then examines the implications for practice and psychoanalytic education.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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