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Nayar-Akhtar, M. (2015). Epilogue: Children in Need: Analysts in Alternative Settings. Psychoanal. Inq., 35(7):758-761.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35(7):758-761


Epilogue: Children in Need: Analysts in Alternative Settings

Monisha Nayar-Akhtar, Ph.D.

The pressure to take psychoanalysis out of the consulting room and apply it to the social issues and concerns of the larger community, thereby making it more relevant to people in need and more visible to the public eye, has been steadily growing and is perhaps now at a tipping point. Responding to this pressure and also motivated by their personal worlds, analysts are stepping outside their consulting rooms and engaging in applying psychoanalysis to community-based projects. Focusing on large group dynamics (Volkan, 1987; Twemlow and Ramzy, 2005; Twemlow et al., 2011) and institutional characteristics, these psychoanalysts have redefined the “widening scope” (Stone, 1954, p. 591) of contemporary psychoanalysis. This issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry hopes to add to this literature and to move what is rapidly becoming a national and international phenomenon forward.

Making this point, Prudy Gourguechon (2011) titled her 2010 Plenary Address at the American Psychoanalytic Association Meetings in New York, “The citizen psychoanalyst: Psychoanalysis, social advocacy, and social commentary.” Setting the stage for social advocacy and community involvement at various levels, Gourguechon spurred new efforts, reinvigorated and gave a fresh voice to ongoing projects, and legitimized what has often been thought of as the stepchild of psychoanalysis. The International Psychoanalytic Association’s title for their 2015 meetings in Boston: “Changing the world: The shape and use of psychoanalytic tools today,” also strengthens this trajectory of social advocacy and community involvement.

[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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