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Guardian Article on the Crisis in American Psychoanalysis

The Guardian has just published an indepth piece by investigative journalist, J. Oliver Conroy, titled ‘Inside the war tearing psychoanalysis apart: “The most hatred I have ever seen.” ‘ In his article, Conroy strives to present a fair and balanced picture of the current crisis; he interviewed people on both sides of this conflict quoting them directly. Each side is shown in both a positive and negative light. He sets out to make sense of the conflict and identifies what he considers to be the main factors implicated in the crisis. These include the arrival of a cohort of younger practitioners with social justice commitments, the complex relationship between American psychoanalysis and its Jewish origins; and the way that the Israel/Palestine political conflict is now being replicated in the professional landscape in minature. Conroy concludes his piece with a direct quote by an analyst who, when asked by Conroy for a diagnosis of the profession, uses the term ‘psychotic’ as a descriptor. Readers can judge for themselves as to the quality and fairness of this piece and the accuracy of Conroy’s analysis.

However, we at CTA would like to point out that there is something fundamental missing from this journalistic investigation and that is the wider context. If as a reader you didn’t know any different then the obvious conclusion you would come to is that the particular characteristics of American psychoanalysis have created a unique crisis. But, this is not the case at all; this crisis is happening across all the psychotherapy schools and affecting all mental health treatment provision (see countless posts on the CTA website as well as our recent book). When Critical Social Justice ideology infiltrates any domain it automatically triggers destructive processes which dismantle and disrupt the existing structures. American psychoanalysis is just one example of this albeit a particularly dramatic one. As this article is published in The Guardian – an enthusiastic proponent of this authoritarian elite ideology – then, rather obviously, this vital explanatory context is withheld.

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