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Grotstein, J.S. (2002). One Pilgrim's Progress Toward the Psychoanalytic Citadel. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(1):90-105.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 22(1):90-105

One Pilgrim's Progress Toward the Psychoanalytic Citadel

James S. Grotstein, M.D.

My psychoanalytic odyssey started in my childhood. My parents were avid readers of Freud and discussed his views with their friends. Our family doctor had been analyzed by Freud and spoke to my family about it on many occasions. I renewed my interest in psychoanalysis in college while studying English literature and then even more so in medical school, where we had a very inspiring department of psychiatry. My psychoanalytic training was to cross many frontiers: orthodox Freud, classical Freud, Fairbairn, Winnicott, and then Klein and Bion. I entered the field of psychoanalysis at a time when it was highly respected and virtually dominated the field of psychiatry, especially in medical schools. I have sadly watched its decline from popular favor and was even sadder to encounter its bitter divisiveness, especially in this country. Today psychoanalysis is left divisive and more variegated. Many different schools of thought have emerged that are now accorded legitimacy, fortunately. One might say that I have seen it at its best and at its worst but have not lost faith in its capacity to excite one's imagination and to inspire hope for a more evolved consciousness of self.

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