Rita Corsa

Distances and closeness in conflict management in the psychoanalytic community

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In this paper I will address the issue of distances from the point of view of ideas and theoretical positions in psychoanalysis. I will start from a story of the British Psychoanalytic Society known in literature as The Controversial Discussions, which involved the development of the psychoanalytic movement in the aftermath of Freud’s death. At the time the war, the isolation of most of the analysts, forced to evacuate from London due to the bombings, together with economic hardship were the background to a conflict destined to leave a deep furrow, both in the life of British society and in the subsequent theoretical and technical developments of the psychoanalysis of children. Then the topic of distances will be explored from the perspective of how the space-time distances of the time due to war, migration and the separation of individuals influenced the development and the management of the conflict within the group of psychoanalysts and the relationship of these dynamics with the institutional container. I will compare the model of that time with the space-time proximities allowed by technology in the present time and their effects on conflict management


  • controversial discussions
  • group psychoanalysis
  • conflict


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