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Killingmo, B. (1999). Om Psykoanalytisk Kultur–et Rum for Refleksjon. (On psychoanalytic culture–a space for reflection.): Judy Gammelgaard and Susanne Lunn. Copenhagen: Dansk Psychologisk Forlag, 1997. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(2):278-286.

(1999). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 22(2):278-286

Om Psykoanalytisk Kultur–et Rum for Refleksjon. (On psychoanalytic culture–a space for reflection.): Judy Gammelgaard and Susanne Lunn. Copenhagen: Dansk Psychologisk Forlag, 1997

Review by:
Bjøsrn Killingmo

The so-called mainstream of psychoanalysis gradually faded out in the seventies and a number of psychoanalytic subcultures have emerged each with their preferred vocabulary. There is no longer consensus as to what are the core concepts of psychoanalysis. This means, that the patient's material as well as the psychoanalytic situation itself can be contextualised in very different ways. An underlying question is whether psychoanalysts are drifting apart and whether a common foundation of psychoanalysis is in the process of disintegration. Another is whether the scope of psychoanalysis should be redefined, bringing new concepts and metaphors to the centre of analytic theory.

A recent book on psychoanalytic “culture” aptly addresses this diversity in contemporary psychoanalysis. The book consists of papers by nine Danish psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists and is dedicated to John Vitger on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. It seems to be a hallmark of psychoanalytic culture that some people obtain status as master teachers. This position is gained not only by way of outstanding clinical and theoretical competence, but also by virtue of personal qualities, making them available as models of identification. Certainly, the tribute to John Vitger in this book from his apprentices and colleagues testifies to his central rôle in gaining ground for psychoanalytic thinking and training in Denmark.

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