Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To print an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To print an article, click on the small Printer Icon located at the top right corner of the page, or by pressing Ctrl + P. Remember, PEP-Web content is copyright.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Christiansen, A. (1995). Commentary: Primitive Splitting in the Field of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(4):599-602.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(4):599-602

Commentary: Primitive Splitting in the Field of Psychoanalysis

Anthony Christiansen, M.A.

The special section entitled “Contemporary Structural Psychoanalysis and Relational Psychoanalysis,” in Psychoanalytic Psychology 12(1) was a fertile, highly informative collection of papers dedicated primarily to explicating, comparing and contrasting, and often defending the views of the contributors who, for the most part, would designate themselves as classical, in opposition to relational.

Although the volume was an exciting, interesting, and important contribution, it raised far more questions for me than it answered. Above all, it highlighted a problematic tendency much too prevalent in our field, among clinicians who would rigidly encamp themselves around particular claims of allegiance in variously defended quarters, declaring (either explicitly or implicitly) exclusive possession of the genuine article of psychoanalytic knowledge in toto. In presenting this ongoing observation, my criticisms lay not with one particular group or another, but rather with our field as a whole. As psychoanalysis undergoes continued assaults upon its integrity as a bona fide intellectual discipline and practice, by persons and forces largely outside our field, it seems that we continue to induce a greater ongoing trauma upon ourselves from within. For however fruitful the genuine exchange of psychoanalytic ideas may be when undertaken with the open mind that Freud considered the sine qua non of any psychoanalytic endeavor, we seem as individuals and as a group to be constricted dialogically by the most primitive forms of defensive splitting and infantile rivalry that make true exchange an impossibility.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.