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Rangell, L. (1963). On Friendship. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 11:3-54.

(1963). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 11:3-54

On Friendship

Leo Rangell, M.D.


THE SUBJECT to which I shall address myself today is that special form of object relations designated as friendship. As was the case with other subjects I have approached in recent years, such as a study of the state of poise (69), or the quest for ground in human motivation (70), or a survey of the role of object relations in psychoanalysis (72), the present subject has in common with all these the qualities of ubiquity and a certain diffuseness. This circumstance prompts me to characterize these areas as the psychological sea or air around us. They are all of such a nature as to fill the very interstices of psychic life, as a result of which they tend to become invisible and elusive. The task then has been with each of them to get a grip, to identify the phenomenon, to outline its periphery and borders, and, hopefully, to describe its central core.

It is astonishing how little has been written in the psychoanalytic literature on this perhaps most frequent of all human relationships. The references which do exist are generally glancing, scanty, and en passant. There is, to my knowledge, scarcely a psychoanalytic study centered on this subject in depth.

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