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Lenoff, L. (2020). Epilogue: The Intersection of Psychoanalysis and Humanistic Values. Psychoanal. Inq., 40(4):281.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 40(4):281


Epilogue: The Intersection of Psychoanalysis and Humanistic Values

Lester Lenoff, JD, LCSW

Assembling and editing this issue left me with mixed feelings as I look at the clinical, professional, and public facets of my own life and that of others, the public sphere beyond the consulting room, literature, and meetings. Our patients live in that world, we live in that world, and crucial to the intersection of psychoanalysis and humanistic values, people around us, near and far, who we will never meet, live in that world.

Clearly the public and private visions of treatment derived, to variable degrees, from psychoanalytic have widened and continue to widen. And that broadening, to my mind, reflects movement in the direction of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis toward goals that reflect the patient’s subjective view of what she or he seeks out of treatment. The basic humanistic value in the consulting room asserts — as in the articles by Heather Ferguson, Adriano Bugliani, Henry Friedman, and my own — that needs of the patient precede the vindication of a theory. Within the public sphere, psychoanalytic concepts — as operationalized by Anna Ornstein and Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau — can help to recognize and, I hope, respond to contemporary threats to the humanistic values of decency, equality, toleration, and concern for others.

Beyond that, I believe that the articles in this issue speak for themselves.

I consider myself privileged to worked with these authors and to be part of bringing the light they shed to readers.

[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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