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Dodds, J. (2019). Otto Fenichel and Ecopsychoanalysis in the Anthropocene. Psychoanal. Perspect., 16(2):195-207.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 16(2):195-207

Otto Fenichel and Ecopsychoanalysis in the Anthropocene

Joseph Dodds, Ph.D.

Otto Fenichel, whose era coincided with a time of immense social and political upheaval, was well known for his engagement in social as well as clinical spheres. In recent years, several psychoanalytic thinkers (e.g., Lertzman, 2015) have similarly crossed into the social by attempting to address perhaps the defining challenge of our own time: climate change and the environmental crisis. Human effects on planetary systems now rival the great forces of nature, with scientists proclaiming a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The psychological causes and consequences of this momentous fact are in urgent need of psychoanalytic investigation. This paper seeks to articulate the legacy of Fenichel and his ideas through a reading of several key papers and to layer his thinking onto the emerging psychoanalytic approaches to the climate crisis. Particular reference is made to Harold Searles, who provides a theoretical counterpoint.

[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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