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Pappenheim, H. Papiasvili, E.D. (2010). EPILOGUE. Psychoanal. Inq., 30(6):579-580.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(6):579-580


Harriet Pappenheim and Eva Dubska Papiasvili

This issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry is only a beginning. Written into the original conference brochure of “Contemporary Perspectives on the Oedipus Complex” were five questions, which all conference participants were asked to consider:

1.   How does the Oedipus complex affect the clinical work of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis today?

2.   Is the Oedipus complex still relevant?

3.   If it is, then how does it add to the modern day practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis?

4.   How does the present day usage of the Oedipus complex compare with that of earlier periods in the history of psychoanalysis?

5.   If the Oedipus complex is no longer considered to be central or relevant, then what notions or constructs, if any, have taken its place?

Each author responded in a uniquely individual way, each in accordance with his or her own distinctive clinical experience, and each demonstrating the primacy of empirical findings in psychoanalysis over abstract generalization and claims of universality. In the experience of some, evidence of the Oedipus complex was vividly present in many of their treatments and, yet, their clinical descriptions showed that they gave full weight to particular, quite individual, psychogenetic elements. Opinions differed on the question of the presumed universality of the Oedipus complex, no less so than on the question of its origins: an integral part of the individual's instinctual endowment, i.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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