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Orgel, S. (1990). The Future of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal Q., 59:1-20.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:1-20

The Future of Psychoanalysis

Shelley Orgel, M.D.

Personal predilection has led me toward the educational dimensions of psychoanalysis: teaching, supervising, the administration of my own institute; in the International Psychoanalytical Association, working in what is now called the Conference of Training Analysts; and in the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Committee on Institutes and the Board on Professional Standards. The latter title condenses professional with educational standards, properly recognizing that standards of education are indissolubly linked with national standards for the professional practice of psychoanalysis. It therefore seems natural to me to think about the future of psychoanalysis as essentially dependent on how we educate those whom we judge, usually with some trepidation, to be potentially able to become analysts. And since I believe with increasing vehemence that only continuing immersion in clinical psychoanalytic work enables most of us to become and remain emotionally committed to the core of what is psychoanalytic, our traditional emphasis on training for clinical practice makes good sense, and is necessary for the future survival of the psychoanalytic idea and identity.

This core idea of psychoanalysis begins with the assumption that in every human being there is an unconscious mind, and that its existence, activities, and laws of operation can be inferred by observing their manifestations in distorted translation when the always present barriers to such observations are temporarily weakened or lifted.

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