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Seiden, H.M. (2009). On the Longing for Home. Psychoanal. Psychol., 26(2):191-205.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 26(2):191-205

On the Longing for Home

Henry M. Seiden, Ph.D., ABPP

The psychoanalytic literature has not been particularly attentive to the longing for home, this despite the fact that it has been central to the organizing narratives of the Western world since ancient times. Indeed, a nonpathological mourning for a lost home and efforts both real and symbolic to return would appear to be universals in human experience. The author examines the longing for home by presenting a series of narratives drawn from sources both heroic and quotidian in a kind of theme and variations. Appreciation of and clinical attentiveness to the longing for home would do much to broaden the understanding and investigation of some of our important psychoanalytic ideas—even, and surprisingly, the oedipus complex.

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