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Moses-Hrushovski, R. (2010). Becoming a Psychoanalyst—An Autobiographical Fragment*. Psychoanal. Inq., 30(2):155-170.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(2):155-170

Becoming a Psychoanalyst—An Autobiographical Fragment*

Rena Moses-Hrushovski, Ph.D.


When I received the letter from Melvin Bornstein, an editor of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, asking me whether I would be interested in writing an article about my developmental history in becoming the analyst I am today, I felt immediately like doing it. It seemed to me to be a good opportunity to think and express myself about an important aspect I never considered systematically. And it is often through writing that I come closest to myself—becoming crystallized in my thinking and being.

I was reading with interest the two issues of Psychoanalytic Inquiry (2002) that were dedicated to this theme, and I also thought that such articles from different countries could contribute to a better understanding of the complexity and whatever is involved in the nature of our “impossible profession.”

One of the difficulties that stood in my way related to the fact that writing in English was not easy for me. When I told the well-known linguist Roman Jacobson about my difficulties with languages, he responded that it appears as if in any language I am living in a hotel. This was exactly what I felt, I think: that it related to the loss of my mother tongue after the Krystallnacht, about which I shall write about later.

Another difficulty related to exposing my private life publicly. One of the unwritten rules of our training was that analysts do not disclose any private details to patients if this could affect their analytic work; as if the less the patients knew about their analysts, the more they will fill the gap with unconscious fantasies.

[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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