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Aslan, C.M. (1989). Common Ground in Psychoanalysis. Aims and Clinical Process. As I See it. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:12-16.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:12-16

Common Ground in Psychoanalysis. Aims and Clinical Process. As I See it

Carlos Mario Aslan

The Tower of Babel (Génesis, 11). And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the East, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.


The richness and vitality of current psycho-analysis tells us that we psychoanalysts keep building 'our city'. The multiplicity of frames of reference constitutes precisely a demonstration of such richness and vitality. Many of them relate widely and deeply enough to the main body of psychoanalytic theory as to (1) go on being psychoanalysis and (2) enrich psychoanalysis at the same time.

As I see it the main subject of the Congress aims at settling what we have in common that allows us to go on working as analysts, as well as at establishing the possibility of profiting from the clinical and theoretical creativity of the different frames of reference.

One of the obstacles that opposes these aims is the diversity of the languages developed by many schools.

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