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Aguillaume, R. (1995). New Perspectives in Psychoanalysis: Romulo Aguillaume, Madrid, Spain. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(1):56-59.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(1):56-59

New Perspectives in Psychoanalysis: Romulo Aguillaume, Madrid, Spain

Romulo Aguillaume, M.D.

We could say that during Freud's lifetime psychoanalysis, despite major disagreements, was able to maintain an institutional and theoretical coherence that allowed at least the bases of psychoanalytic theory and practice to be laid. However, all of the classical concepts of psychoanalysis (unconscious, transference, psychic conflict, free association, etc.), without exception, have now been reconsidered. It is as if, as time goes by, we are moving further and further away from the possibility of establishing a normal science, with its paradigms as Thomas S. Khun defined them, i.e. “what the members of a scientific community, and only those members, share” (1). The possibility of a great integrating synthesis that combines all the different theories continues to elude us, although numerous attempts have been made, with varying degrees of success.

Leo Rangell (3), Robert Wallerstein (4) and H. Etchegoyen (5) give examples of this, in my opinion, vain attempt at integration. I believe that Etchegoyen's book is a good example of the impossibility of this integration: the combination of numerous authors and theories, including Lacan, in one book does not make us think that the problem is solved. Neither is it resolved by Wallerstein, who, following the tradition of George S. Klein (6), calls the different psychoanalytic theories “metaphors”.

As I mentioned above, during Freud's lifetime, psychoanalysis was able to maintain an apparently monolithic structure, not only at an institutional level, but also as regards theory. Freud's unquestionable personal and scientific leadership made this possible. Exclusion settled any controversy.

The Kleinian tradition perhaps marks the time when a theory cannot be integrated and still remains, together with its defining features, within the psychoanalytic institution and school of thought. The work of Riccardo Steiner on the “Polémicas de la Sociedad Psicoanalítica Británica” (Controversies of the British Psychoanalytic Society) demonstrates this double impossibility: the impossibility of theoretical integration and the impossibility of institutional exclusion (7).


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