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Appy, G. (1989). Where Does the Common Ground Among Psychoanalysts End?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:7-11.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:7-11

Where Does the Common Ground Among Psychoanalysts End?

Gottfried Appy

Wallerstein gave a detailed review of the history and present situation of psychoanalysis, in Montreal in 1987. For all the increasing and controversial divergences in theory and technique, it was for him beyond question that there was common ground in analytical thinking and objectives. He felt that, eventually even if not yet today, a uniform overall view of this common ground could be expected. His contribution initiated a dialogue which is gratifyingly being continued with the subject of the 1989 Rome IPAC.

I take it for granted that psychoanalysis begins with the assumption of the existence of the unconscious. This contains the matrix for the unfolding and development of human mental life and is influenced by a wide variety of motivations. This thesis is the fundamental prerequisite of psychoanalysis and its applications and distinguishes it from all other, non-analytical psychologies. Hence psychoanalytic thinking concentrates on a specific method of observation of unconscious phenomena, such as transference and resistance. The method equally specifically determines and conceptualizes the theoretical attempts to explain data of empirical origin. On account of these premises, opponents reject psychoanalysis as dogma and hence discriminate against it as unscientific.

Since its beginnings, psychoanalysis has been characterized principally by the diversity of stories. Individual developmental processes, the course of clinical treatments, social situations and aspects of the critique of civilization were made hermeneutically comprehensible by them.

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