Our Vital Profession

by Fred Busch, PhD


In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Occasionally it is useful to remind ourselves of the vital role psychoanalysis plays in helping our patients regain what is basic to their humanity. At the same time the vitality of our methods can be seen in important paradigm changes in the psychoanalytic method in the last 40 years. This is not to underestimate that significant differences exist amongst schools of thought. A key challenge to our individual and collective growth is the difficulty in engaging with the ever-expandingknowledge posed by different perspectives.

We’ve all heard the depressive views of our profession: the impossible profession; our dying profession; the pain of beingan analyst; a dangerous profession, etc. Today, I am here to present our profession in a different light – the vital profession. I will not be Pollyannaish in presenting my view, as at times, our work is painful, and seemingly impossible. However, when we forget the vital nature of what we do, it can sometimes feel even more painful, impossible, dangerous and daunting, and we forget about the endless possibilities of the mind.

From its beginning to the present, psychoanalysts have been working to help their patients find or re-find the core of what it means to be alive and human – that is, the human mind. No matter what our theoretical perspective, we are all trying to open up spaces in a patient’s mind that were previously closed off, and in this way we help them re-find their mind <…>

International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96/3:553-568, June 2015. 

Link to Online Publication (fulltext can be requested from library@bpsi.org).


Other recent publications by Fred Busch, PhD:

Busch, F. (2016). The Search for Psychic Truths. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, LXXXV: 339-360.

Busch, F. (2016). Second thoughts on Freud’s “Two Principlesof Mental Functioning”. In (L. Brown & G. Legoretta) Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning. London: IPA Books.

Busch, F. (2015). Working through Sarah Polley’s ‘Stories We Tell’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 96: 477-491.

Previous Posts:

Rafael D. Ornstein, MD (2015). Seeing Through the Fog: Learning to Work with Dissociation. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35:257–270.

Nancy, J. Chodorow, PhD (2015). From the Glory of Hera to the Wrath of Achilles: Narratives of Second-Wave Masculinity and Beyond. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 16: 261–270.

Rona Knight, PhD (2014). Free to Be You and Me: Normal Gender-Role Fluidity—Commentary on Diane Ehrensaft’s “Listening and Learning from Gender-Nonconforming Children” Related Papers. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 68:57-70.

Rita K. Teusch, PhD (2015). Sadomasochistic Relations Between Ego and Superego in Anorexic Patients. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 32/1: 191-212, October 2015.

Anthony D. Bram, PhD and Jed Yalof, PsyD (2015). Quantifying Complexity: Personality Assessment and Its Relationship With Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Inquiry. 35, 74-97.

Mary Anderson, PhD (2015) The Conscious Heart: On the Act of Creation and the Compassionate Teachings of Art. Harvard Divinity Bulletin. Vol 43, No 1-2, pp. 21-31.

Click here to see the full archive of featured papers. All articles are available in the library.