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Rosenbaum, B. (1984). The Death of a Psychoanalyst. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 7(1):49-69.

(1984). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 7(1):49-69

The Death of a Psychoanalyst

Bent Rosenbaum, M.D.

The problems and the consequences of the death of a training-analyst who has candidates in analysis are of a restricted but at the same time general character. The restricted aspects first of all have to do with the practical and technical difficulties in overcoming this involuntary and enforced change of analyst in a supposedly continuing training analysis. The general problems involved are concerned with questions of how to terminate a dual relationship which breaks off in an arbitrary manner. The general problems are pertinent not only to many situations during analysis but also to events in life: the handling of problems in early childhood concerning power relationships between children and parents, the break-off from the family in adolescence, interruptions of long-lasting friendships, divorces of married couples, death of relatives or friends, and so on.

Death and the Psychoanalytic Institution

A recent review of the literature on death of the psychoanalyst (Lord, Ritvo and Solnit, 1978) stated that very little had been written on the theme: patients' reaction to the death of their psychoanalysts. The attention of various authors had been attracted to studies on the one hand of dying, death and bereavement, and on the other hand to the problems of the termination phase of analysis and its inherent elements of loss and mourning. But the termination due to death of the analyst had not been a subject of specific interest.

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