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Simons, R.C. (1990). Our Analytic Heritage: Ideals and Idealizations. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 38:5-38.

(1990). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 38:5-38

Our Analytic Heritage: Ideals and Idealizations

Richard C. Simons, M.D.


The relation between ideals and idealizations is examined with regard to the aims of the American Psychoanalytic Association in advancing psychoanalytic education, practice, and research. Ideals are essential for preserving the past and as guides for the future. However, the idealizations that often develop in response to new discoveries and innovations may lead to a defensive clinging to the past as well as to an overly enthusiastic embrace of new ideas. Both these forms of idealization may serve as powerful resistances to creative and constructive change.

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