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Spezzano, C. (2004). American Psychoanalysis: A Comparative Attempt. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(2):193-206.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(2):193-206

American Psychoanalysis: A Comparative Attempt

Charles Spezzano, Ph.D.

Right now, North American psychoanalysis, taken as a whole, seems rough-edged compared with its European counterparts. It puts more emphasis on the reality of other minds that inevitably influence and limit the ways in which the patient's unconscious psychology does and does not become available for analytic scrutiny and change. It is more in the United States, than elsewhere, that a new literature on sexuality (as a key source of fantasy, transference, countertransference, anxiety, etc.) is vital. We are more eager to incorporate ideas from France and Britain than French and British psychoanalysts are to adopt ours. Affect has assumed a more direct and explicit role in American literature than in British or French literature. Finally, the expectation is more urgent here that psychoanalytic treatment will work, that the quality of patients' subjective and relational lives and the quality of their loving and working will be better after analysis.

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