Living and Containing Psychoanalysis in Institutions: Psychoanalysts Working Together

Editor : Gabriele Junkers

Living and Containing Psychoanalysis in Institutions: Psychoanalysts Working Together

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : February 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 186
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 96890
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032295138
  • ISBN 10 : 9781032295
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Encompassing diverse perspectives on the psychoanalyst as individual, social being, and member of psychoanalytic institutions, this book provides practical and informed answers to the question of how psychoanalysts can take care of their psychoanalytic institutions.

The book draws urgent attention to concerns about how the field of psychoanalysis can be sustained into the future, and sets out several studies in institutional dynamics as a form of provocation for psychoanalysts to reflect on their position as members of the institution and to act courageously in their collective efforts. Correlations between institutional dynamics and familial relationships are emphasized, alongside varied and detailed accounts of the styles of leadership required to facilitate improved cooperation in psychoanalytic institutions. The authors draw on their experiences as group participants, leaders and observers at both local and supranational levels, to investigate the historical context underpinning the disillusion among psychoanalysts, offering readers richly informed perspectives on how to nurture collegial ethics.

With an emphasis on a shared ethics of responsibility, and the work involved in building secure professional relationships among psychoanalytic groups of all kinds, this book will prove essential to those engaged in understanding the work involved in psychoanalysis, whether in training or in practice.

Reviews and Endorsements

"Using their deep understanding of unconscious functioning, this group of senior psychoanalysts examines their own institutions. Though psychoanalytic institutions face unique problems, the authors’ understanding of struggles with authority and leadership; sibling, family, and group dynamics; idealization, infantilization, competition, and polarization; group narcissism and scapegoating; and the impacts of the surrounding community, organizational history, and the chaotic society illuminate the problems affecting a wide range of institutions. Our institutions are human systems; we cannot function without them. We all would do well to understand what this important book is teaching us." - Edward R. Shapiro, M.D., is author of Finding a Place to Stand: Developing Self-Reflective Institutions, Leaders, and Citizens; distinguished faculty, Erikson Institute for Education, Research, and Advocacy; formerly medical director/CEO, Austen Riggs Center and clinical professor of Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center. 

"Living and Containing Psychoanalysis in Institutions is a remarkable and brave book that throws open a sudden and enlightening window onto a difficult and often neglected terrain. Drawing upon a myriad of experiences, the nine expert contributors take readers on a much-needed critical exploration of ideas, ultimately guiding them towards a greater awareness and understanding of how psychoanalysts work together as a profession. An upliftingly honest book that could not have come at a better time. I consider it essential reading for anyone wishing to reflect on the idea that no man is an island." - Antonino Ferro is a psychiatrist and training and supervising analyst in the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, of which he was President, and a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytical Association.

"The long history of analysts working together in psychoanalytic institutions is not impressive. In fact, in some cases it has been embarrassing to all concerned. Perhaps because of this disconcerting situation, there has not been a thoroughgoing discussion of these problems in our field. In this regard, it is a major breakthrough in psychoanalytic discourse to read this fine new volume edited by Gabriele Junkers. At last we have an intelligent and valuable set of commentaries by a highly respected group of psychoanalytic colleagues. All psychoanalysts should read this book and savor the wisdom in its pages. It is a book that must be read!" - Glen O. Gabbard is clinical professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.

"How is the internal life of psychoanalytic institutions? How do psychoanalysts work together? How can we create institutional frames where members and psychoanalysis thrive, whilst coping with inevitable tensions and conflicts? These questions, even more urgent now when our field is challenged from the outside, are discussed by editor Gabriele Junkers and her eight co-writers in this recent publication on psychoanalysis in institutions. Based on a vast collection of personal experiences, the authors shed new light on a topic that is always present, but very rarely discussed explicitly. This excellent book creates a place to think about these complex questions." - Sølvi Kristiansen is a training and supervising analyst in the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Society, IPA.

"This timely volume contains important, thought-provoking papers on a subject that the psychoanalytic profession neglects at its own peril: how our own institutions function, for better or worse, in the service of trying to sustain and nurture the field. Psychoanalysis represents a powerful set of ideas and values that can improve the lives of individuals and help make sense of the otherwise unexplainable, but as Dr. Junkers and her colleagues make clear, the profession has largely focused on individual motivation and behavior, rather than that of groups. Psychoanalytic institutions are responsible for protecting and promoting psychoanalysis, in the face of competing approaches and external critics, but our own complexly-determined institutional dysfunctions may be the biggest threat of all. These essays are essential reading for those who care deeply about the future of the profession." - Kerry J. Sulkowicz is president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, clinical professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and managing principal of the Boswell Group, based in New York.

"Living and Containing Psychoanalysis in Institutions is a courageous and timely project. It opens a reflection on the complex problem of psychoanalytic institutions, until now only partially and discreetly addressed, but necessary for many years. It is a compilation of works by experienced authors in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic institutions, who bring complementary and thought-provoking approaches, all searching to understand a universal and chronic situation that circumstantially becomes autophagic. It touches on complex points such as problems of power struggle and rivalry and their most intimate motivations such as group phenomena and the formation of sub-groups, which involve narcissism, idealization, infantilization, the search for scapegoats, polarizations, fraternal and family dynamic conflicts, among many others. An essential book to be read and debated in search of solutions that are still far away, whose failure to address jeopardizes the future of the discipline and the profession." - José Carlos Calich is a training analyst and director of the Training Institute at Porto Alegre Psychoanalytical Society, Brazil (SPPA).

"What are the main issues psychoanalysts face while working in their institutions: training institutes, societies, international associations? Are they the same as in any institution with regard to the conflicts between individual requests for more freedom and the need to have institutional structures and rules? Or do psychoanalytical institutions have some specific problems and solutions? These questions are studied in a very precise and profound way in this book by many experienced psychoanalysts and authors. It is well known that conflicts in psychoanalytic institutions are linked to the specificity of the psychoanalytic experience and of its transmission to candidates within training institutes. Most splittings in psychoanalytic Societies have been caused by differences in training philosophies and practices. One reason could be the differences between the analytic experience which concerns psychic reality and involves no restrictions of time, and the requirements of training by psychoanalytic institutes with educational tasks, especially the evaluation of candidates, implying time limits. This is a paradoxical situation: it is necessary to evaluate an internal process which is not observable or quantifiable. But at the same time this evaluation involves a judgement whose aim is to take an institutional decision, involving issues of power and authority. This very stimulating book rightly shows that psychoanalysts are exposed to narcissistic and identity-related problems because of the pluralism in training models and in psychoanalytical theories and practices. A solution to these paradoxical situations, which is stressed by many authors, would be to promote the development of work groups and to always rely on a third-party position, which would contribute at different levels, to overcome dual and conflictual issues. This book should be of great help to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytical institutions in reflecting on extremely important issues for the future of psychoanalysis in these times of scientific, political and social challenges." - Alain Gibeault is a training analyst and president of the Education Committee of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society, past president of the European Psychoanalytical Federation and past secretary general of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

About the Editor(s)

Gabriele Junkers is a psychoanalyst, training analyst and supervisor, working in private practice. She is the editor of Psychoanalysis in Europe for the European Psychoanalytical Federation, where she was also Honorary Secretary.

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