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Schwartz, D. (2004). Extreme Normality: Preface and Performance. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(6):835-858.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(6):835-858

Extreme Normality: Preface and Performance

David Schwartz, Ph.D.

This essay is intended to record and analyze some recent events in psychoanalytic history, in particular the omission of sexual and gender minorities from the planning of the inaugural conference of the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists (2002) and its subsequent protest by several East Coast psychoanalysts. Those events are recounted and analyzed to emphasize the significance for psychoanalysis of the general exclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) voices from the sites of psychoanalytic authority, to hypothesize the intellectual roots of this historic exclusion, and to make recommendations for remedying this situation. The author suggests that philosophical idealism embedded in psychoanalysis in the form of reified notions of development, gender, and health may be responsible for the failure of contemporary psychoanalysis to fully include GLBT consciousness and perspectives. He further argues that the institutional recruitment and deployment of GLBT psychoanalysts is a likely remedial strategy.

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