The dilemma of contemporary psychoanalysis: Toward a "knowing" post-postmodernism

Aner Govrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


It is in the best interest of psychoanalysis that new schools of thought (earlier examples of which are the classical, Kleinian, and self psychological perspectives) evolve. Generating a new school of thought, however, is almost impossible in this postmodern era. The postmodern paradigm in psychoanalysis (intersubjectivity, dialectical constructivism, two-person psychology) does not strive to generate a "true" theory of mind that claims to fit reality, nor does it claim to be another school of thought. The creators of the classical, interpersonal, self psychological, ego psychological, Kleinian, Bionian, Fairbairnian, Winnicottian, and other schools cannot be postmodernists, for they all believed that their theories corresponded to reality and were therefore true. A shortage of analysts who "know the truth" today will make it extremely difficult for new schools of thought to arise in psychoanalysis, or for new and compelling theories and descriptions of the human psyche to be constructed. What is required is for pluralistic psychoanalytic institutions to empower analysts who are actively involved in the pursuit of new ideas and theories in psychoanalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-535
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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