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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Apr 30, 2023

"I've long had concerns about the practice of psychoanalysis and that the theory underlying it has become a veritable Tower of Babel. We have these multiple views where everything is accepted as ‘psychoanalysis,’ but they really can't be because they're very different models and they call for very different things. I also feel that our field in general is drifting into sociology so that our national and international meetings feel like there is very little room for clinical discussions, and there are just so many clinical discussions that we need to have."

Episode Description: Fred's edited book Psychoanalysis at the Crossroads represents a 'state of the union' for our field. He has brought together contributions representing multiple points of view on a wide range of analytic topics, including those that are considered contentious. After he shares his purpose in compiling this work, we each read a paragraph which serves as a jumping-off point for a wide-ranging discussion. We cover definitions of analysis, the history of narcissistic defenses, the depth of analysis in contrast to more superficial approaches, the role of theory, listening to the impact of one's interventions, curriculum design and the intergenerational struggles around it, and the place of defense analysis. We conclude with Fred sharing with us his concerns for our future and his eagerness to continue to contribute to a depth understanding that can often offer profound relief of suffering to our patients.


Our Guest:


Fred Busch, Ph.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and has been invited to teach at many Institutes. He has published over 80 articles on psychoanalytic techniques and six books. His work has been translated into many languages, and he has been invited to present over 180 papers and clinical workshops nationally and internationally. His last five books are: Creating a Psychoanalytic Mind (2014); The Analyst’s Reveries: Explorations in Bion’s Enigmatic Concept (2019); Dear Candidate: Analyst from Around the World Offer Personal Reflections on Psychoanalytic Training, Education, and the Profession (2020); A Fresh Look at Psychoanalytic Technique (2021), Psychoanalysis at the Crossroads;: An International Perspective. The Ego and Id: 100 years Later, will appear later this year.


Linked Episode: Wisdom and Enthusiasm for Today's Candidates


Recommended Readings:


Bolognini, S. (1997) Empathy And ‘Empathism.’ International Journal of Psychoanalysis 78:279-293


Busch, F. (2013). Creating a Psychoanalytic Mind: Psychoanalytic Method and Theory. London: Routledge.


Busch, F. (2019). The Analyst’s Reveries: Explorations in Bion’s Enigmatic Concept. London: Routledge.


Da Rocha Barros, E. M. (1995) The Problem Of Originality And Imitation In Psychoanalytic Thought: International Journal of Psychoanalysis 76:835-843.


Diana Diamond, Frank E. Yeomans, Barry L. Stern, and Otto F. Kernberg. (2022). Treating Pathological Narcissism with Transference-Focused Psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press.


Gray, P. (1982) "Developmental Lag" in the Evolution of Technique for Psychoanalysis of Neurotic Conflict. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 30:621-655.


Joseph, B. (1985) Transference: The Total Situation. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 66:447-454


Kris, A. (1982). Free Association. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.


Paniagua, C. (2001) The Attraction of Topographical Technique. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 82:671-684