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Fischer, N. (2006). A Fear of Trying: Dysfunctional Conservatism. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 54(1):7-16.

(2006). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 54(1):7-16

Plenary Address

A Fear of Trying: Dysfunctional Conservatism

Newell Fischer

As the American Psychoanalytic Association faces mounting external pressures that threaten its very survival, its leadership and members appear increasingly preoccupied with issues of internal governance and training standards. This inward gazing, though in keeping with analysts' personality and occupational traits, serves to obscure and defend against the anxieties associated with threats from the surround. Such maladaptive defensive activity contributes to organizational stagnation, dysfunctional conservatism, and a “fear of trying.” Suggestions to combat this self-defeating behavior are offered.

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