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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Heisterkamp, G. (2001). Is Psychoanalysis a Cheerless (Freud-Less) Profession? Toward a Psychoanalysis of Joy. Psychoanal Q., 70(4):839-870.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 70(4):839-870

Is Psychoanalysis a Cheerless (Freud-Less) Profession? Toward a Psychoanalysis of Joy

Günter Heisterkamp, Ph.D.

Joy can be understood as a basic form of resonance. Psychodynamically, joy is complementary to the feeling of anxiety. Whereas anxiety reflects psychic distress in connection with problems of structuring, joy is the expression of successful (re)structuring. It is the feeling of self-discovery, of a new beginning, and of self-renewal. In stark contrast, there are numerous empirically supported indications that there is little evidence of feelings of joy in the psychoanalytic literature. Why is this the case? Pursuing his analysis of this apparent but unspoken taboo against joy in professional analytic writing, the author outlines a psychoanalysis of joy in the hope that it will encourage analysts to be more aware and expressly affirmative of joy as it occurs in their work.

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