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Goldwater, W.E. (1983). My Mother's Three Contributions to Psychoanalysis. Mod. Psychoanal., 8(2):161-162.

(1983). Modern Psychoanalysis, 8(2):161-162

My Mother's Three Contributions to Psychoanalysis

W. Eugene Goldwater

The situation of myself and my sister and my mother all being involved in the same school, as we have been here at the Center, is not new; it is a repetition. Thirty years ago, my sister and I were attending the City and Country School, and my mother was teaching there. The City and Country School was founded with the interesting educational philosophy that people learn best by doing; by experiencing; by actively participating in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, rather than by passively absorbing information. The first of the three contributions which I feel my mother has made to psychoanalysis was the part she played in introducing this concept, the “progressive” educational concept, to psychoanalytic education.

Family involvement was not something that was particularly part of the City and Country philosophy. In fact, a founder of the school once suggested that children would be better off if they didn't have parents at all! Of course, a lot of teachers have felt that way. And I think a lot of analysts have felt that way too, although I think they would recognize it as a countertransference reaction. However, my mother never seemed to feel that way, or at least she never acted that way.

The second contribution which she has made is to help to introduce the idea that not only individuals, but family members, and families, can benefit from being involved in the same educational environment.

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