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Foss, T. Sletvold, H. (2012). Editorial. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 35(1):1.

(2012). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 35(1):1


Torberg Foss and Helge Sletvold

Listening to patients can, at times, be demanding, writing about it, even more so. What is the relationship between working clinically as psychoanalysts and then, writing about this experience afterwards? This question is of particular interest, as we now start our editorial period.

The distance between the fauteuil of the analyst and her writing desk is often seen as hard to breach, as if the two constitute two distinct worlds. At first sight, this would seem to be true; the state of mind of a listening analyst is certainly of a different bent than that of the author of a scientific work. In the latter case, the demands put upon structure and reasoning are naturally rigorous. Still, we may wonder to what extent they do in fact share a common task, in the endeavor of increasing our understanding of what at times seems not understandable.

As editors, we are therefore interested in seeing whether writing is more integral to clinical work, than we often tend to think. These are urgent questions. In justifying the kind of work we are doing in our daily practice, we believe writing about it plays an important rǒle. Justification cannot simply be left to scientific research in the more traditional sense.

Let us therefore introduce two questions, which could be of help in thinking further through these matters. In our psychoanalytic associations, we seem to put much effort into the procedures where candidates present a written work before being admitted as members. These works must be based on recent clinical experience and should also demonstrate an ability to reason more theoretically.

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