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Clemmens, E.R. Rendon, M. (1984). Foreword. Am. J. Psychoanal., 44(3):229-230.

(1984). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 44(3):229-230


Edward R. Clemmens, M.D. and Mario Rendon, M.D.

This special issue of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis marks a momentous occasion. It commemorates the week-long conference, devoted exclusively to the work of Karen Horney, which was held under the auspices of Menendez Pelayo University in Santander, Spain, August 2 to 6, 1982. Never, to my knowledge, has a concentrated effort of this magnitude been made to study the theories of the founder of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis, nor to honor her and to assess the impact of her work on contemporary psychoanalysis.

The significance of this event is even greater in view of the fact that it took place in a country which has had only minimal contact with Horney's contributions. Sponsoring the conference was the Centro Psicoanalítico de Madrid, under the leadership of Dr. Alejandro Gállego-Meré. He proved to be a well-read scholar of lively intellect, a fascinating speaker, an alert and able debater, a tireless and effective organizer and, last but not least, a superb host. In addition, two faculty members of the institute presented papers. Other participants were Spanish psychiatrists, among them several heads of Departments of Psychiatry at Spanish universities.

We were invited speakers from the American Institute for Psychoanalysis. Our function was rather complex and demanding, since we were the only analysts present who had been brought up in the Horneyan tradition, who had full familiarity with her theory, and who belonged to the faculty of the only institute which trains its candidates in Horney theory. Furthermore, one of us, Dr. Clemmens, had personal memories of her. Our task was to attempt to convey the American mind set to a group of colleagues who approach psychology in a way that is consonant with Spanish culture. We had no problem with the Spanish language. Bridging the conceptual gap, however, demanded a special effort.

Discussions were active, often searching and thought provoking. We were constantly reminded of how precious freedom of speech and civil liberties are to these colleagues who, during the long years of fascist oppression, had enjoyed few of the blessings that we take for granted. There were frequent historical references, usually couched in terms of “after the death of Franco” or “prior to it.”

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