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Naiman, J. (2003). Psychoanalysis in Toronto: Historical Perspectives. By Douglas Frayn. Toronto: Ash Productions, 2000, 206 pp., $25.00. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 51(2):727-728.

(2003). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(2):727-728

Book Review: Psychoanalytic History

Psychoanalysis in Toronto: Historical Perspectives. By Douglas Frayn. Toronto: Ash Productions, 2000, 206 pp., $25.00

Review by:
James Naiman

In Toronto, as in other cities, psychoanalytic history began when an analyst came to settle in the area. In this instance, it was Alan Parkin, who came to the Canadian city in 1954. Today, nearly fifty years later, there are approximately 150 analysts in the Toronto Society, of whom thirty are training analysts. There are at present thirty candidates.

Douglas Frayn, the author of Psychoanalysis in Toronto, was a member of the first class to take its training entirely in the city. That was in 1969, and, in a class of nine, all were male and, with the exception of Charles Hanly, medically qualified. Fourteen years later, in 1983, there was finally a class in which women outnumbered men, and by 1999 half the class was nonmedical.

Frayn includes material written by seventeen colleagues. The second analyst in Toronto was Irving Schiffer, who has this to say: “we did a lot of fighting among ourselves … plenty of dirty laundry and at times political farce” (p. 22). He happens to have been Jeffrey Masson's analyst. Could his analysand have identified with him?

Conflicts between society and institute resulted in the creation of the Faculty, institute teachers and committee members who are not training analysts. Mary Kay O'Neil speaks of “a quickly squelched trial to allow all analysts to analyze candidates, as happens in the Quebec French Institute” (p. 35). This is incorrect insofar as Quebec is concerned. According to the current roster of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society, only sixty-three of ninety-three members of the French Society are deemed competent to analyze candidates.

In 1970, Ruth Easser, now deceased, became the first woman training analyst in Toronto, having obtained this status at Columbia.

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