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Relational Psychoanalysis as a “Child of the Sixties”: Politics, Innovation, and the Transition from Adolescence

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This article offers a cultural-historical account of the origins of relational psychoanalysis. It proposes that the enthusiasm of many in the first generation of relational psychoanalysts emerged from our engagement with the radical cultural and political movements of the 1960s and early 1970s. It features several common dimensions of relational analysis and those movements: the central role of authenticity and recognition; the critique of power and arbitrary authority; the tolerant and even enthusiastic attitude toward spontaneity, experimentation, turbulence and improvisation; the interest in the social and cultural surround at a core level; and an interest in marginalization processes and in a sense, outsider-ness, both as an identity and as a source of personal pain. The article emphasizes core qualities of the innovative Relational sensibility, especially its open, inclusive and integrative spirit.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 17, 2019

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