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Ehrenberg, D.B. (2004). How I Became a Psychoanalyst. Psychoanal. Inq., 24(4):490-516.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 24(4):490-516

How I Became a Psychoanalyst

Darlene Bregman Ehrenberg, Ph.D.

In this essay, I focus on how my personal history contributed to my choosing to become a psychoanalyst, what I then encountered and the choices I made professionally, and the issue of being “inside” versus “outside” the classical tradition. In this context, I describe some of the political conditions that prevented Ph.D.'s from being able to be trained as analysts within the classical tradition during those years. I also describe how the training I received outside the classical tradition actually was much broader than what would have been offered within it and how it allowed for a level of intellectual freedom and critical thinking about traditional ways of working that would not have been possible in the classical institutes. I also describe briefly how I began developing the concept of working at the “intimate edge” in the analytic relationship, which I first began writing about in 1974 and which is detailed most fully in my 1992 book, The Intimate Edge: Extending the Reach of Psychoanalytic Interaction, and in several subsequent publications (Ehrenberg, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003).

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