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Nobus, D. (2006). Fluctuat Nec Mergitur or What Happened to Reikian Psychoanalysis?. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(4):684-700.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(4):684-700

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur or What Happened to Reikian Psychoanalysis?

Dany Nobus, Ph.D.

Although Theodor Reik was a celebrated psychoanalyst during the 1950s and 1960s, his work has not resulted in the development of a specific psychoanalytic tradition, and his name has gradually disappeared from Western cultural memory. Following the mode of argumentation of the reductio ad absurdum, the author critically examines six possible explanations for this remarkable observation, thereby drawing on published materials and archival sources relating to the life and works of Reik. Once these explanations have been discarded, the author argues that the main reason for the absence of a Reikian tradition within psychoanalysis stems from Reik's belief in the analytic virtue of intellectual independence. This belief may have contributed to his own departure from the psychoanalytic training institution that he helped to create, yet it also implies that Reikian psychoanalysis somehow lives on in all those practitioners who do not seek to affiliate with a doctrinal school of thought.

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