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Simmonds, J.G. (2006). The Oceanic Feeling and a Sea Change: Historical Challenges to Reductionist Attitudes to Religion and Spirit from Within Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(1):128-142.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(1):128-142

The Oceanic Feeling and a Sea Change: Historical Challenges to Reductionist Attitudes to Religion and Spirit from Within Psychoanalysis

Janette Graetz Simmonds, Ph.D.

Three waves of challenges may be perceived from within psychoanalysis to its reductionist attitude to religion and spirit. These historical challenges from within psychoanalysis are an important context for reading the many papers now being published on spirituality and psychotherapy, and increasingly, spirituality and psychoanalysis. The 1st wave began with some of Freud's contemporaries, among them his friend, the psychoanalyst and pastor Oscar Pfister; the Nobel Laureate Romain Rolland, and the poet T. S. Eliot. Challenges continued after Freud's death: In Britain from psychoanalysts such as Rickman and Guntrip, and in America initially by the European immigrants, Erikson and Fromm. British independent psychoanalysts initiated what may be considered to be the 3rd wave, whose momentum is now swelling to a sea change.

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