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Freudenberger, H.J. Robbins, A. (1979). The Hazards of Being a Psychoanalyst. Psychoanal. Rev., 66(2):275-296.

(1979). Psychoanalytic Review, 66(2):275-296

The Hazards of Being a Psychoanalyst

Herbert J. Freudenberger, Ph.D. and Arthur Robbins, ED.D., Ph.D.

Both of us have been in psychoanalytic practice for approximately twenty years. During the past few years each of us has become increasingly concerned about certain problems which we and many of our other colleagues experienced in our psychoanalytic training and are now experiencing as independent practitioners.

We have had numerous conversations together, and have shared many of our thoughts and concerns about many issues. We have discussed the personal re-evaluation we are each going through. In the course of this mutual sharing, we have slowly evolved a concept of what we perceive to be the hazards to ourselves, to our families, and to our patients of being psychoanalysts today. We would like to share our findings with you. We will attempt to identify these occupational hazards, to describe them and their effects, to determine some of the factors which breed them and keep them alive, and finally, we will offer some concrete recommendations for combating their numbers and force.

What, in our opinion, is the biggest danger faced by those engaged in our profession today? It is that of becoming burnt out—a devastating and predictable condition which has been laying low too many psychoanalysts of late.


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