by Sarah Ackerman, PhD
The proper practice of psychoanalysis repudiates a rule-based code of ethical conduct. A conflict exists, however, between Freud’s rejection of the Biblical commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself and his development of psychoanalytic techniques that demand something very much of this ilk. Other essential conflicts in analytic practice include the impossibility of removing the analyst’s desire from the analytic relationship, the unruly nature of unconscious processes in both analyst and analysand, and the après-coup nature of ethical recognition. A discourse of ethics is recommended in which analysts are called on to consider the ethical demands of each clinical moment. Ethical demands on the analysand, as well as the analyst, bring to light the way in which analysis rests on the foundational ethical situation into which humankind is born.
Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 68(4): 561-582, September 2020.
About the Author
Sarah Ackerman, PhD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, co-chair of the Psychoanalysis Study Group sponsored by the Leslie Center for the Humanities at Dartmouth College, and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. She maintains a private practice in Hanover, New Hampshire. She is the author of many articles, including recently published “I May Allow Myself to do This”: Conflict in Freud’s Writing of The Interpretation of Dreams and (How) Can We Write about Our Patients? and A Diagnosis for Psychoanalysis in the 21st Century: Freud as Medicine.
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