The Eagle has Landed – This Side of the Pond: Interest in the British Press

As usual, great play is made in the article on a postulated distinction between two forms of psychoanalytic treatment: psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The argument is that each form of treatment is carried out by a different type of practitioner and that this justifies the separate labels psychoanalyst and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. There may well be a difference between the two forms of treatment but nobody has, so far, been able to articulate convincingly what that difference might be, other than purely in terms of some formal criteria. The fact is that both forms of treatment require a training in psychoanalysis and that both forms of treatment are carried out by all psychoanalytic practitioners, whichever label they may use. One of the aims of The College is to promote discussion amongst practitioners from all schools of psychoanalysis about whether there is in fact such a difference and how this might be defined. Nevertheless, so far as the underlying theory is concerned, there is only the theory of psychoanalysis itself, in all its diverse forms. There is no such thing as a separate theory of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Most significantly of all, those who claim an exclusive monopoly on the right to call themselves psychoanalysts and to practise psychoanalysis have never been prepared to articulate what constitutes a psychoanalytic training, which is distinguishable from any other form of training, other than in terms of the so-called “technical rules”.

What the article does not make clear is the fact that all members of The College have undergone a training in psychoanalysis which is, in all material respects, of the same standard and quality as that offered by any established training in psychoanalysis anywhere in the world.

The article concludes with the statement that the controversy has resulted, so far, in a missed opportunity for reconciliation among psychoanalytic practitioners.