What is Introjection?


In psychology, introjection is the unconscious adoption of the thoughts or personality traits of others.

It occurs as a normal part of development, such as a child taking on parental values and attitudes. It can also be a defence mechanism in situations that arouse anxiety.

The tendency is also known as identification or internalisation. It has been associated with both normal and pathological development.


Introjection is a concept rooted in the psychoanalytic theories of unconscious motivations. Unconscious motivation refers to processes in the mind which occur automatically and bypass conscious examination and considerations.

Introjection is the learning process or in some cases a defence mechanism where a person unconsciously absorbs experiences and makes them part their psyche.

Introjection in Learning

In psychoanalysis, introjection (German: Introjektion) refers to an unconscious process wherein one takes components of another person’s identity, such as feelings, experiences and cognitive functioning, and transfers them inside themselves, making such experiences part of their new psychic structure. These components are obliterated from consciousness (splitting), perceived in someone else (projection), and then experienced and performed (i.e. introjected) by that other person. Cognate concepts are identification, incorporation and internalisation.

Introjection as a Defence Mechanism

It is considered a self-stabilising defence mechanism used when there is a lack of full psychological contact between a child and the adults providing that child’s psychological needs. Here, it provides the illusion of maintaining relationship but at the expense of a loss of self. To use a simple example, a person who picks up traits from their friends is introjecting.

Projection has been described as an early phase of introjection.

Historic Precursors

Freud and Klein

In Freudian terms, introjection is the aspect of the ego’s system of relational mechanisms which handles checks and balances from a perspective external to what one normally considers ‘oneself’, infolding these inputs into the internal world of the self-definitions, where they can be weighed and balanced against one’s various senses of externality. For example:

  • “When a child envelops representational images of his absent parents into himself, simultaneously fusing them with his own personality.”
  • “Individuals with weak ego boundaries are more prone to use introjection as a defense mechanism.”

According to D.W. Winnicott, “projection and introjection mechanisms… let the other person be the manager sometimes, and to hand over omnipotence.”

According to Freud, the ego and the superego are constructed by introjecting external behavioural patterns into the subject’s own person. Specifically, he maintained that the critical agency or the super ego could be accounted for in terms of introjection and that the superego derives from the parents or other figures of authority. The derived behavioural patterns are not necessarily reproductions as they actually are but incorporated or introjected versions of them.

Torok and Ferenczi

However, the aforementioned description of introjection has been challenged by Maria Torok as she favours using the term as it is employed by Sándor Ferenczi in his essay “The Meaning of Introjection” (1912). In this context, introjection is an extension of autoerotic interests that broadens the ego by a lifting of repression so that it includes external objects in its make-up. Torok defends this meaning in her 1968 essay “The Illness of Mourning and the Fantasy of the Exquisite Corpse”, where she argues that Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein confuse introjection with incorporation and that Ferenczi’s definition remains crucial to analysis. She emphasized that in failed mourning “the impotence of the process of introjection (gradual, slow, laborious, mediated, effective)” means that “incorporation is the only choice: fantasmatic, unmediated, instantaneous, magical, sometimes hallucinatory…’crypt’ effects (of incorporation)”.

Fritz and Peris

In Gestalt therapy, the concept of “introjection” is not identical with the psychoanalytical concept. Central to Fritz and Laura Perls’ modifications was the concept of “dental or oral aggression”, when the infant develops teeth and is able to chew. They set “introjection” against “assimilation”. In Ego, Hunger and Aggression, Fritz and Laura Perls suggested that when the infant develops teeth, he or she has the capacity to chew, to break apart food, and assimilate it, in contrast to swallowing before; and by analogy to experience, to taste, accept, reject or assimilate. Laura Perls explains: “I think Freud said that development takes place through introjection, but if it remains introjection and goes no further, then it becomes a block; it becomes identification. Introjection is to a great extent unawares.”

Thus Fritz and Laura Perls made “assimilation”, as opposed to “introjection”, a focal theme in Gestalt therapy and in their work, and the prime means by which growth occurs in therapy. In contrast to the psychoanalytic stance, in which the “patient” introjects the (presumably more healthy) interpretations of the analyst, in Gestalt therapy the client must “taste” with awareness their experience, and either accept or reject it, but not introject or “swallow whole”. Hence, the emphasis is on avoiding interpretation, and instead encouraging discovery. This is the key point in the divergence of Gestalt therapy from traditional psychoanalysis: growth occurs through gradual assimilation of experience in a natural way, rather than by accepting the interpretations of the analyst.

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What is Negative Transference?


Negative transference is the psychoanalytic term for the transference of negative and hostile feelings, rather than positive ones, onto a therapist (or other emotional object).

Refer to Narcissistic Neurosis and Transference Neurosis.

Freud’s Preference

In his pioneering studies of transference phenomena, Freud noted the existence of both positive and negative transferences, while expressing a preference for the former, which he initially saw as a prerequisite for analytic work. Freud considered that “The hostile feelings make their appearance as a rule later than the affectionate ones and behind them”; and more frequently in same-sex than in mixed-sex analytic pairings.

Otto Fenichel pointed out that whereas neurotic aggravations can follow the emergence of a negative transference, so too (paradoxically) can improvements: the patient gets better to spite the therapist for emphasising the patient’s problems.

Later Formulations

Melanie Klein in her disputes with Anna Freud laid much greater emphasis than her opponent on the constructive role to be played by interpreting the negative transference. Jacques Lacan followed her theoretical lead in seeing “the projection of what Melanie Klein calls bad internal objects” as key to “the negative transference that is the initial knot of the analytic drama” – though he himself would face criticism for glossing over the negative transference in training analyses, to keep his analysands in dependence.

W.R.D. Fairbairn was also more interested in the negative than the positive transference, which he saw as a key to the repetition and exposure of unconscious attachments to internalised bad objects. In his wake, object relations theorists have tended to stress the positive results that can emerge from working with the negative transference.

Technical Blocks

  • Fritz Wittels considered the brevity of Wilhelm Stekel’s analyses to be due to his narcissism being unable to endure the emergence of the negative transference.
  • Rollo May saw the flaw in person-centred therapy as a pervasive reluctance to deal with the negative transference.

Literary Analogues

Describing the process of becoming the focus of a paranoid’s hostility, C.P. Snow wrote:

“No one likes being hated: most of us are afraid of it: it jars to the bone when we meet hatred face to face.”

What is Reaction Formation?


In psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation (German: Reaktionsbildung) is a defence mechanism in which emotions and impulses which are anxiety-producing or perceived to be unacceptable are mastered by exaggeration of the directly opposing tendency.

The reaction formations belong to Level 3 of neurotic defence mechanisms, which also include dissociation, displacement, intellectualisation, and repression.


Reaction formation depends on the hypothesis that:

“[t]he instincts and their derivatives may be arranged as pairs of opposites: life versus death, construction versus destruction, action versus passivity, dominance versus submission, and so forth. When one of the instincts produces anxiety by exerting pressure on the ego either directly or by way of the superego, the ego may try to sidetrack the offending impulse by concentrating upon its opposite. For example, if feelings of hate towards another person make one anxious, the ego can facilitate the flow of love to conceal the hostility.”

Where reaction-formation takes place, it is usually assumed that the original, rejected impulse does not vanish, but persists, unconscious, in its original infantile form. Thus, where love is experienced as a reaction formation against hate, we cannot say that love is substituted for hate, because the original aggressive feelings still exist underneath the affectionate exterior that merely masks the hate to hide it from awareness.

In a diagnostic setting, the existence of a reaction-formation rather than a ‘simple’ emotion would be suspected where exaggeration, compulsiveness and inflexibility were observed. For example:

“[r]eactive love protests too much; it is overdone, extravagant, showy, and affected. It is counterfeit, and […] is usually easily detected. Another feature of a reaction formation is its compulsiveness. A person who is defending himself against anxiety cannot deviate from expressing the opposite of what he really feels. His love, for instance, is not flexible. It cannot adapt itself to changing circumstances as genuine emotions do; rather it must be constantly on display as if any failure to exhibit it would cause the contrary feeling to come to the surface.

Reaction formation is sometimes described as one of the most difficult defences for lay people to understand; this testifies not merely to its effectiveness as a disguise, but also to its ubiquity and flexibility as a defence that can be utilised in many forms. For example:

“solicitude may be a reaction-formation against cruelty, cleanliness against coprophilia”,

and it is not unknown for an analyst to explain a client’s unconditional pacifism as a reaction formation against their sadism. In addition:

“[h]igh ideals of virtue and goodness may be reaction formations against primitive object cathexes rather than realistic values that are capable of being lived up to. Romantic notions of chastity and purity may mask crude sexual desires, altruism may hide selfishness, and piety may conceal sinfulness.”

Even more counter-intuitively, according to this model:

“[a] phobia is an example of a reaction formation. The person wants what he fears. He is not afraid of the object; he is afraid of the wish for the object. The reactive fear prevents the dreaded wish from being fulfilled.

The concept of reaction formation has been used to explain responses to external threats as well as internal anxieties. In the phenomenon described as Stockholm syndrome, a hostage or kidnap victim ‘falls in love’ with the feared and hated person who has complete power over them. Similarly, paradoxical reports exist of powerless and vulnerable inmates of Nazi camps creating ‘favourites’ among the guards and even collecting objects discarded by them. The mechanism of reaction formation is often characteristic of obsessional neuroses. When this mechanism is overused, especially during the formation of the ego, it can become a permanent character trait. This is often seen in those with obsessional character and obsessive personality disorders. This does not imply that its periodic usage is always obsessional, but that it can lead to obsessional behaviour.

What is Abstinence (Psychoanalysis)?


Abstinence or the rule of abstinence is the principle of analytic reticence and/or frustration within a clinical situation.

It is a central feature of psychoanalytic theory – relating especially to the handling of the transference in analysis.

As Sigmund Freud wrote in 1914:

The cure must be carried through in abstinence. I mean by that not physical self-denial alone, nor the denial of every desire….But I want to state the principle that one must permit neediness and yearning to remain as forces favoring work and change.

Later Formulations

The validity of the abstinence principle has been rediscovered and re-affirmed in a variety of subsequent analytic traditions.

Jacques LacanRe-formulated the principle via the concept of ‘analytic bridge’ – the analyst necessarily playing the part of the unresponding dummy to bring the patient’s unconscious motivations out into the open.
Eric BerneSaw analytic frustration as a means of avoiding playing a part in the patient’s life script.
R.D. LaingIn the context of the false self saw analytic abstinence operating in opposition to false self collusion: “It is in terms of basic frustration of the self’s search for a collusive complement for false identity that Freud’s dictum that analysis should be conducted under conditions of maximal frustration takes on its most cogent meaning”.
D.W. WinnicottIn the context of his notion of ‘holding’ the patient emphasised that understanding through verbal interpretation gave a deeper sense of holding than the physical act, use of which by the therapist could blur the symbolic nature of the analytic space.


The rule of abstinence has come under increasing challenge by Interpersonal and Intersubjective psychoanalysis, concerned about the inflexibility of the rule, and the way its relentless application may provoke unnecessary hostility, even an iatrogenic transference neurosis.

Defenders of the rule, against the practice of the warm supportive analyst, argue against the easy seductiveness of being overly ‘helpful’ in a self-defeating way already sketched out by Freud himself. The concept of optimal responsiveness – balancing frustration and gratification from moment to moment – offers some mediation in the dispute.

What is Dissaffection?


The term disaffectation was coined by noted French psychoanalyst Joyce McDougall as a strictly psychoanalytic term for alexithymia, a neurological condition characterised by severe lack of emotional awareness.


McDougall felt that alexithymia had become too strongly classified as a neuroanatomical defect and concretised as an intractable illness leaving little room for a purely psychoanalytic explanation for this phenomenon.

In coining the term McDougall hoped to indicate the behaviour of people who had experienced overwhelming emotion that threatened to attack their sense of integrity and identity. Such individuals, unable to repress the ideas linked to emotional pain and equally unable to project these feelings delusively onto representations of other people, simply ejected them from consciousness by “pulverizing all trace of feeling, so that an experience which has caused emotional flooding is not recognized as such and therefore cannot be contemplated”. They were not suffering from an inability to experience or express emotion, but from “an inability to contain and reflect over an excess of affective experience.”

‘Disaffectation’ conveys a deliberate double meaning. The Latin prefix dis-, indicates separation or loss and suggests, metaphorically, that certain people are psychologically separated from their emotions and may have “lost” the capacity to be in touch with interior psychic reality. Also included in this prefix is the secondary meaning from the Greek dys- with its implication of illness.

According to Professor of Psychiatry of the University of Toronto, Graeme Taylor, this psychoanalytic conceptualisation departs from older, less applicable theories which emphasized the role of unconscious neurotic conflicts, and instead facilitates a psychoanalytic model of physical illness and disease based on the operation of primitive pre-neurotic pathology that has failed to achieve psychic representation. Henry Krystal Professor of Psychiatry at Michigan State University agreed, adding that it is useful to separate the consideration of psychotherapy for the “disaffected” individual from that of the classical psychosomatic neuroses. To Krystal this consideration is important because “since these patients may develop serious, even occasionally fatal exacerbations of illness during psychotherapy, treating them with psychotherapy for psychosomatic illness is not indicated”. This distinction has allowed the field of psychoanalysis to contribute constructively to the field of psychosomatic medicine.

What was the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society?


The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (German: Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung, WPV), formerly known as the Wednesday Psychological Society, is the oldest psychoanalysis society in the world.

In 1908, reflecting its growing institutional status as the international psychoanalytic authority of the time, the Wednesday group was reconstituted under its new name with Sigmund Freud as President, a position he relinquished in 1910 in favour of Alfred Adler.

During its 36-year history, between 1902 and 1938, the Society had a total of 150 members.

First Meetings

In November 1902, Sigmund Freud wrote to Alfred Adler, “A small circle of colleagues and supporters afford me the great pleasure of coming to my house in the evening (8:30 PM after dinner) to discuss interesting topics in psychology and neuropathology… Would you be so kind as to join us?” The group included Wilhelm Stekel, Max Kahane and Rudolf Reitler, soon joined by Adler. Stekel, a Viennese physician who had been in analysis with Freud, provided the initial impetus for the meetings. Freud made sure that each participant would contribute to the discussion by drawing names from an urn and asking each to address the chosen topic.

New members were invited only with the consent of the entire group, and only a few dropped out. By 1906, the group, then called the Wednesday Psychological Society, included 17 doctors, analysts and laymen. Otto Rank was hired that year to collect dues and keep written records of the increasingly complex discussions. Each meeting included the presentation of a paper or case history with discussion and a final summary by Freud. Some of the members presented detailed histories of their own psychological and sexual development.

Active Years

As the meetings grew to include more of the original contributors to psychoanalysis, analytic frankness sometimes became an excuse for personal attacks. In 1908 Max Graf, whose five-year-old son had been an early topic of discussion as Freud’s famous “Little Hans” case, deplored the disappearance of congeniality. There were still discussions from which important insights could be gleaned, but many became acrimonious. Many members wanted to abolish the tradition that new ideas discussed at the meetings were credited to the group as a whole, not the original contributor of the idea. Freud proposed that each member should have a choice, to have his comments regarded as his own intellectual property, or to put them in the public domain.

In an attempt to resolve some of the disputes, Freud officially dissolved the informal group and formed a new group under the name Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. On the suggestion of Alfred Adler, the election of new members was based on secret ballot rather than Freud’s invitation. Although the structure of the group became more democratic, the discussions lost some of their original eclectic character as the identity of the group developed. The psychosexual theories of Freud became the primary focus of the participants.

After the end of World War I, the membership became more homogeneous, and the proportion of members identifying as Jewish increased. Over the course of the 36 years of its existence (until 1938), the Society registered a total of 150 members. Most members were Jewish, and 50 were (like Freud himself) children of Jewish immigrants from other Habsburg states.

Prominent Members

  • Sigmund Freud.
  • Alfred Adler.
  • Wilhelm Reich.
  • Otto Rank.
  • Karl Abraham.
  • Carl Jung.
  • Sándor Ferenczi.
  • Guido Holzknecht.
  • Isidor Isaak Sadger.
  • Victor Tausk.
  • Hanns Sachs.
  • Ludwig Binswanger.
  • Carl Alfred Meier.
  • Sabina Spielrein.
  • Margarete Hilferding.
  • Herbert Silberer.
  • Paul Schilder.

What is the American Psychoanalytic Association?


The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) is an association of psychoanalysts in the United States. APsaA serves as a scientific and professional organisation with a focus on education, research, and membership development.

Brief History

The American Psychoanalytic Association was founded in 1911 by Welsh neurologist and psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, with the support of Sigmund Freud. Other founders of the organisation are Adolf Meyer (psychiatrist), James Jackson Putnam, G. Lane Taneyhill, John T. MacCurdy, Trigant Burrow, and G. Alexander Young.

The APsaA is the second oldest American psychoanalytic organisation, after the New York Psychoanalytic Society which was founded a few months before by Abraham Arden Brill.

In 1991 the APsaA issued a statement allowing training of gay psychoanalysts. In 1992 the APsaA prohibited discrimination against gay people when selecting teaching faculty. In 2019 the APsaA apologised for having treated homosexuality as a mental illness.


APsaA has over 3,000 members, including 33 accredited training institutes and 38 affiliate societies. At the association’s biannual meetings held in February and June, members convene to exchange ideas, present research, and discuss training and membership issues.

What is the International Psychoanalytical Association?


The International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) is an association including 12,000 psychoanalysts as members and works with 70 constituent organisations.

It was founded in 1910 by Sigmund Freud, from an idea proposed by Sándor Ferenczi.

Brief History

In 1902, Sigmund Freud started to meet every week with colleagues to discuss his work, thus establishing the Psychological Wednesday Society. By 1908 there were 14 regular members and some guests including Max Eitingon, Carl Jung, Karl Abraham, and Ernest Jones, all future Presidents of the IPA. The Society became the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society.

In 1907 Jones suggested to Jung that an international meeting should be arranged. Freud welcomed the proposal. The meeting took place in Salzburg on April 27, 1908. Jung named it the “First Congress for Freudian Psychology”. It is later reckoned to be the first International Psychoanalytical Congress. Even so, the IPA had not yet been founded.

The IPA was established at the next Congress held at Nuremberg in March 1910. Its first President was Carl Jung, and its first Secretary was Otto Rank. Sigmund Freud considered an international organisation to be essential to advance his ideas. In 1914 Freud published a paper entitled The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement.

The IPA is the international accrediting and regulatory body for member organisations. The IPA’s aims include creating new psychoanalytic groups, conducting research, developing training policies and establishing links with other bodies. It organises a biennial Congress.

Regional Organisations

There is a Regional Organisation for each of the IPA’s 3 regions:

  • Europe:
    • European Psychoanalytical Federation (or EPF), which also includes Australia, India, Israel, Lebanon, South Africa and Turkey.
    • The IPA is incorporated in England, where it is a company limited by guarantee and also a registered charity.
    • Its administrative offices are at The Lexicon in Central London.
  • Latin America:
    • Federation of Psychoanalytic Societies of Latin America (or FEPAL).
  • North America:
    • North American Psychoanalytic Confederation (or NAPSAC), which also includes Japan and Korea.

Each of these three bodies consists of Constituent Organisations and Study Groups that are part of that IPA region. The IPA has a close working relationship with each of these independent organisations, but they are not officially or legally part of the IPA.

Constituent Organisations

The IPA’s members qualify for membership by being a member of a “constituent organisation” (or the sole regional association).

  • Argentine Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Argentine Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Australian Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Belgian Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Belgrade Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Brasília Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society of São Paulo.
  • Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of Porto Alegre.
  • Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of Ribeirão Preto.
  • British Psychoanalytic Association.
  • British Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Canadian Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Caracas Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Chilean Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Colombian Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Colombian Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Contemporary Freudian Society.
  • Cordoba Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Croatian Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Czech Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Danish Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Dutch Psychoanalytical Association.
  • Dutch Psychoanalytical Group.
  • Dutch Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Finnish Psychoanalytical Society.
  • French Psychoanalytical Association.
  • Freudian Psychoanalytical Society of Colombia.
  • German Psychoanalytical Association.
  • German Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Hellenic Psycho-Analytical Society.
  • Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Indian Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.
  • Israel Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Italian Psychoanalytical Association.
  • Italian Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Japan Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies.
  • Madrid Psychoanalytical Association.
  • Mato Grosso do Sul Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Mendoza Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Mexican Assn for Psychoanalytic Practice, Training & Research.
  • Mexican Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Monterrey Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Norwegian Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Paris Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Pelotas Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Peru Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Polish Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Porto Alegre Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Portuguese Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Psychoanalytic Centre of California.
  • Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California.
  • Psychoanalytic Society of Mexico.
  • Psychoanalytical Association of The State of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Recife Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Rio de Janeiro Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Romanian Psychoanalytic Society.
  • Rosario Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Spanish Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Swedish Psychoanalytical Association.
  • Swiss Psychoanalytical Society.
  • Uruguayan Psychoanalytical Association.
  • Venezuelan Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.

Provisional Societies

  • Guadalajara Psychoanalytic Association (Provisional Society).
  • Moscow Psychoanalytic Society (Provisional Society).
  • Psychoanalytic Society for Research and Training (Provisional Society).
  • Vienna Psychoanalytic Association.

Regional Associations

  • American Psychoanalytic Association (“APsaA”):
    • This is a body which has in membership societies which cover around 75% of psychoanalysts in the United States of America.
    • The remainder are members of “independent” societies which are in direct relationship with the IPA.

IPA Study Groups

“Study Groups” are bodies of analysts which have not yet developed sufficiently to be a freestanding society, but that is their aim.

  • Campinas Psychoanalytical Study Group.
  • Centre for Psychoanalytic Education and Research.
  • Croatian Psychoanalytic Study Group.
  • Fortaleza Psychoanalytic Group.
  • Goiania Psychoanalytic Nucleus.
  • Korean Psychoanalytic Study Group.
  • Latvia and Estonia Psychoanalytic Study Group.
  • Lebanese Association for the Development of Psychoanalysis.
  • Minas Gerais Psychoanalytical Study Group.
  • Portuguese Nucleus of Psychoanalysis.
  • Psychoanalytical Association of Asuncion SG.
  • South African Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Study Group of Turkey: Psike Istanbul.
  • Turkish Psychoanalytical Group.
  • Vermont Psychoanalytic Study Group.
  • Vilnius Society of Psychoanalysts.

Allied Centres

“Allied Centres” are groups of people with an interest in psychoanalysis, in places where there are not already societies or study groups.

  • Korean Psychoanalytic Allied Centre.
  • Psychoanalysis Studying Centre in China.
  • Taiwan Centre for The Development of Psychoanalysis.
  • The Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies of Panama.

International Congresses

The first 23 Congresses of IPA did not have a specific theme.

  • 1965: Psychoanalytic Treatment of the Obsessional Neurosis.
  • 1967: On Acting Out and its Role in the Psychoanalytic Process.
  • 1969: New Developments in Psychoanalysis.
  • 1971: The Psychoanalytical Concept of Aggression.
  • 1973: Transference and Hysteria Today.
  • 1975: Changes in Psychoanalytic Practice and Experience.
  • 1977: Affects and the Psychoanalytic Situation.
  • 1979: Clinical Issues in Psychoanalysis.
  • 1981: Early Psychic Development as Reflected in the Psychoanalytic Process.
  • 1983: The Psychoanalyst at Work.
  • 1985: Identification and its Vicissitudes.
  • 1987: Analysis Terminable and Interminable – 50 Years Later.
  • 1989: Common Ground in Psychoanalysis.
  • 1991: Psychic Change.
  • 1993: The Psychoanalyst’s Mind – From Listening to Interpretation.
  • 1995: Psychic Reality – Its Impact on the Analyst and Patient Today.
  • 1997: Psychoanalysis and Sexuality.
  • 1999: Affect in Theory and Practice.
  • 2001: Psychoanalysis – Method and Application.
  • 2003: Working at the Frontiers.
  • 2005: Trauma: New Developments in Psychoanalysis.
  • 2007: Remembering, Repeating and Working Through in Psychoanalysis & Culture Today.
  • 2009: Psychoanalytic Practice – Convergences and Divergences.
  • 2011: Exploring Core Concepts: Sexuality, Dreams and the Unconscious.
  • 2013: Facing the Pain: Clinical Experience and the Development of Psychoanalytic Knowledge.
  • 2015: Changing World: the shape and use of psychoanalytic tools today.
  • 2017: Intimacy.
  • 2019: The Feminine.
  • 2021: The Infantile: Its Multiple Dimensions.


In 1975, Erich Fromm questioned this organization and found that the psychoanalytic association was “organized according to standards rather dictatorial”.

In 1999, Elisabeth Roudinesco noted that the IPA’s attempts to professionalize psychoanalysis had become “a machine to manufacture significance”. She also said that in France, “Lacanian colleagues looked upon the IPA as bureaucrats who had betrayed psychoanalysis in favour of an adaptive psychology in the service of triumphant capitalism”. She wrote of the “IPA[‘s] Legitimist Freudianism, as mistakenly called “orthodox” “. Among Roudinesco’s other criticisms, was her reference to “homophobia” in the IPA, considered a “disgrace of psychoanalysis.

On the other hand, most criticisms laid against the IPA tend to come from a 1950s Lacanian point of view, unaware of recent developments, and of the variety of schools and training models within the association in recent decades. One of the three training models in the IPA (the French Model), is mostly due to Lacan’s ideas and their perspectives regarding the training.

Book: On Being Normal and Other Disorders

Book Title:

On Being Normal and Other Disorders – A Manual for Clinical Psychodiagnostics.

Author(s): Paul Verhaeghe.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Routledge.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.


Winner of the 2005 Goethe Award in Psychoanalytic Scholarship.

The central argument of On Being Normal and Other Disorders is that psychic identity is acquired through one’s primary intersubjective relationships. Thus, the diagnosis of potential pathologies must also be founded on this relation. Given that the efficacy of all forms of treatment depends upon the therapeutic relation, a diagnostic of this sort has wide-ranging applications.

Paul Verhaeghe’s critical evaluation of the contemporary DSM-diagnostic shows that the lack of reference to an updated governing metapsychology impinges on the therapeutic value of the DSM categories. In response to this problem, the author sketches out the foundations of such a metapsychology by combining a Freudo-Lacanian approach with contemporary empirical research. Close attention is paid to the processes of identity acquisition to show how the self and the Other are not two separate entities. Rather, subject formation is seen as a process in which both the subject’s and the Other’s identity, as well as the relationship between them, comes into being.

By engaging this new theoretical approach in a constant dialogue with the findings of contemporary research, this book provides a compass for the practical applications of such a differential diagnostic. Post-modern categories of anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders are approached both through the well-known neurotic, psychotic, and perverse structures, as well as through the less familiar distinction between an actual pathology and a psychopathology. These two outlooks, which involve the role of language and the subject’s relation to the Other, are spelled out to show their implications for treatment at every turn.

Book: Mapping Psychology 1

Book Title:

Mapping Psychology 1.

Author(s): Dorothy Miell, Ann Phoenix, and Kerry Thomas (Editors).

Year: 2002.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Open University.

Type(s): Paperback.


This book (which is in two bindings) provides students with a conceptual ‘bag of tools’ – the basic equipment needed to start mapping psychology in the 21st Century. The aim of this book is to introduce you to the diversity of psychology by presenting the findings and established knowledge on a variety of topics central to psychological enquiry. The topics covered include: Identities and diversities – Evolutionary psychology – Three approaches to learning – Biological processes and psychological explanation – The individual differences approach to personality, perception and attention – Perceiving and understanding the social world – Memory – structures, process and skills – Person psychology – psychoanalytic and humanistic perspectives. Editorial commentaries within each chapter help to highlight theoretical debate, discuss wider issues and explore themes.