Throughout its history, psychoanalysis has been threatened by inter- nal dissension and external rejection. In our own day, the search for psychic truth and personal wisdom in self-exploration finds a cold reception in an increasingly narcissistic, unreflective, and hurried society—impatient, addicted to magical solutions, other-directed to the extreme. Externally beset by these societal demands for an instantaneous, effortless, and painless therapy and internally split by sectarian divisiveness, psychoanalysis is now again, as in its earliest days, characterized by clinical controversy and wide differences of opinion on what constitutes the core of clinical psychoanalysis or best defines the psychoanalytic method. Contemporary answers to many of the pressing clinical questions and theoretical issues in psychoanalysis are diverse despite recent signs of a growing rapprochement among the various psychoanalytic schools. Frequent calls for a less fractured relationship between com- peting psychoanalytic methodologies and metapsychologies have not yet led to greater harmony. Today, psychoanalysis, with its various subschools and clinical orientations and almost endless variety of clinical methods, goals, and practices, truly encompasses, in William James’s terms, a pluralistic universe of clinical theory and method. The psychoanalytic search for self-transformation and a healing therapy has not only resulted in a diversity of points of view all too often it has been accompanied by political strife, rigidity of belief, and fear and contempt for innovative clinical conceptions and treatment approaches. Such narrow partisanship and diversity of therapeutic orientations is perhaps not surprising given the emotional intensity and deeply personal nature of clinical analytic work and the crucial life issues at stake for both analyst and patient. Positions taken on 1 INTRODUCTION Psychoanalytic Paradigms, Clinical Controversy, and Coparticipant Inquiry
Previous Page Next Page