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Brierley, M. (1969). 'Hardy Perennials' and Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:447-452.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:447-452

'Hardy Perennials' and Psychoanalysis

Marjorie Brierley

It is indeed a privilege to be asked to contribute to this 50th anniversary number of The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. Since Ernest Jones long ago asked me to look after his Abstract section, I have read manuscripts for later Editors for quite a number of years and have watched the Journal grow from strength to strength. I trust it will not be out of place for an old, if minor, hand to express her sincerest appreciation of the work of all those, past and present, who have borne the major burden and to wish today's Editor continuing success.

In 'retirement' writing a paper has its problems. I am no longer able to follow developments in theory and practice as closely as I used to do and do not feel to have any new positive contribution to make. However, some of the constant or recurring difficulties that beset psychoanalysis have become clearer to me over the years and it is these I propose to discuss briefly, though they may be all too familiar to many readers. The garden suggested what seemed an applicable title.

The first constant, not to say 'built-in', difficulty is in applying our intelligence to our inner life. The most obvious reason is the 'resistance' we all develop against knowing ourselves, whose forms need not be detailed here. We have a rather dubious habit of attributing criticism to this factor, though indeed the virulence of some of our opponents and the conviction of the more entrenched behaviourists cannot but be suspect. Allied to this is the fact that we are not only creatures of intellect but also creatures of impulse and emotion.

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