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Moore, B.E. (1976). The American Psychoanalytic Association: Its Janus Posture. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24:257-283.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24:257-283

The American Psychoanalytic Association: Its Janus Posture

Burness E. Moore, M.D.

IN FREUD'S COLLECTION OF ANTIQUITIES, exhibited at the Jewish Museum in New York in the fall of 1974, there is a Janus-headed figure, one face of which shows Minerva, goddess of wisdom and the intellect, and the other Silenus, the drunken old companion of Dionysus and, hence, an archetype of evil. The two faces looked forward and backward, inside the temple and outward. The temple itself was closed during peace and open during war. It is idle to speculate what meanings Freud may have attached to this head and its possible influence on psychoanalytic theory, but it is obvious that the statue, an example of primary-process condensation in artistic form, has implications of conflict, of guardianship, of inner and outer directedness, and of time—attributes of the human psyche related to the functions of the ego. By my title I am suggesting that the American Psychoanalytic Association has, of necessity, a posture like that of Janus, looking within and surveying the past, but also facing outward and beyond its own confines to appraise external reality. These essentially ego functions are but part of the total psychic structure the Association represents for its members.

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