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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

A Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis: The Common Ground of Psychoanalytic Practice

Freud is constantly claiming to be scientific. But what he gives is speculation, something prior even to the formation of an hypothesis. Wittgenstein What is it about the work we do with others, whether short or long term psychotherapy, or group work, or organizational consultation, that makes it 'psychoanalytic.' By this, I do not mean what are the core theories or the theoretical common ground (Klein, 1976; Wallerstein, 1988, 1992) that all, or most, analysts share. I mean, apart from what psychoanalysts are supposed to believe, what do they actually set out to do? My aim in this is to pull together what many have written on the subject. I do not aim to be original. Indeed, I aspire to be reductionistic. The value I hope to provide is simply in framing the problem and providing the beginnings of an answer. If what I say strikes you as obvious, in a sense, I will have succeeded.