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Simenauer, E. (1983). A Personal View. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 10:359-363.

(1983). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 10:359-363

A Personal View

Erich Simenauer

The confessional expectancy of Freud's (1913), (1940a), (1940b) that biological research might one day replace psychoanalytic theory and technique understandably remained one of his very few opinions which were not widely and extensively discussed in the literature out of antipathy until recently at the Western Regional Psychoanalytic Societies Meeting, Los Angeles, California, 31 March 1979 (see Wallerstein, 1981). But in private widespread uneasiness had made itself felt all the time with the hope in the background that this day be adjourned to doomsday. For, to put it allegorically, analysts would find themselves in no less embarrassment than the believers in eschatological religious teachings if one day resurrection became reality; in psychoanalytic terms proper Wallerstein (1981) conceives this very common antipathy as 'institutionalized countertransference', and this attitude 'foster[s] a species of backward-oriented ancestor worship' (p. 290). How, in the wider world of ideas and events, could the psychic apparatus simply vanish among scientific advances? In some cases a more conscious and much more earthly motivation for the antipathy may be the fear of the danger of being thrown out of business.

For some disturbing lightning on the horizon had appeared when Freud (1937) expressed his doubts about the therapeutic efficacy of psychoanalysis as a way of changing psychopathological malfunctioning, but it surely means throwing out the child with the bath-water if one shuns research data which are near the core of our science.

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