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Galdi, G. (2015). Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(1):1-2.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(1):1-2


Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis

Giselle Galdi

With this issue we begin celebrating 75 years of continuous publication of this journal, founded by Karen Horney and her pioneering colleagues. We are proud of our history and we are launching a yearlong commemoration with the present issue, which honors Sándor Ferenczi (Szekacs-Weisz, 2015), who did not accept that in the new field of psychoanalysis anything was settled once and for all. Ferenczi constantly looked for new perspectives, new connections, examining them courageously and generously sharing his findings with others. His experimentations came in opposition to most of the psychoanalytic community's attempt to codify and restrict analytic theory and technique. Ferenczi reconsidered the theory of pathology and the theory of mind and examined the complex impact of early external trauma on the development of the self, and its impact on future relationships, including the analytic relationship. His works anticipated later works of psychoanalytic theorists, including Karen Horney's.

Needless to say, the 1930s were years of great turmoil in psychoanalysis. As we all know, the existence of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis (AJP) is connected to the resignation of Karen Horney from the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, following her demotion on April 21, 1941, because her teaching “disturbed” the candidates. Horney and her colleagues formed a new organization, the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, with William Silverberg as president, and Clara Thompson as vice president. Karen Horney became the founding editor of the AJP, the journal of the Association and the dean of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis, which was established later in 1941.

The five members who resigned with Horney from the NYPA Institute, sent an “Explanatory Note” to the members of the American Psychoanalytic Association, a note which echoed Ferenczi's life-long sentiments:

Psychoanalysis is a young science, still in an experimental stage of its development, full of uncertainties, full of problems to which anything approaching final and conclusive answers is still to be sought. As in all sciences, the solutions of these problems are directly dependent upon more voluminous and keener observations, as well as upon further weighing and consideration of observations already made.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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