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Shengold, L. McLaughlin, J.T. (1976). Plenary Session on 'Changes in Psychoanalytic Practice and Experience: Theoretical, Technical and Social Implications'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:261-274.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:261-274

Plenary Session on 'Changes in Psychoanalytic Practice and Experience: Theoretical, Technical and Social Implications'

Leonard Shengold and James T. McLaughlin

The day's proceedings began with presentations by the authors of the prepublished papers (Green, 1975); (Rangell, 1975).

André Green stated his intention of discussing Rangell's paper interspersed with a review of his own contribution on the subject of change in psychoanalysis. He saw Freud's work as an example of the optimal analytic stance towards continual change in our field, in that it embodied two points of view: the 'classical' and the 'openness to new ideas'. The classical analysis remains an essential tool; but difficulties with our patients have forced us to think differently and to search for new ideas and new techniques. Our disputes are over the interpretation of the facts the patients present. Rangell's frame of reference from within which he has made his contributions reflects the genetic and adaptive points of view, the structural hypothesis. Green saw his own frame of reference as different, involving especially psychoanalytic concepts also based upon Freud's work but developed by analysts working in France and England. Should we simply add to our analytic models, or should we try to find new ones? New models are preferable for the new kinds of patients we have been seeing—patients who have presented us with different mental functioning, with different relationships, with different psychological 'space'. Rather than merely connecting the unknown with the known, as Rangell would favour, Green would prefer to attempt to understand the new and unknown phenomena in these patients that does not necessarily have to be connected with what is already known.

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