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4: The issue of homosexuality in psychoanalysis

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Richard C. Friedman

Freud's views about sexuality provoked controversy, of course, and controversy stimulated by open discussion of human sexuality is still with us—even among psychoanalytic audiences!

I began research and scholarship in the area of human sexual orientation in the 1970s (Friedman, Green, & Spitzer, 1976; Friedman, Wollesen, & Tendler, 1976). During the three decades or so that I have presented talks in this area, I have found the intellectual atmosphere to be turbulent. Once, at a well-attended talk at a psychoanalytic association, an older man (I now qualify for that dubious distinction) interrupted my presentation by standing up and screaming: “You're wrong!! Don't you realize that homosexuality will lead to the end of civilization!!!” (He objected to my view that homosexuality is not inherently pathological.) On a number of occasions scheduled and publicized events by psychoanalytic associations—were suddenly cancelled on grounds that the topic of homosexuality was too controversial for discussion by psychoanalysts. After publication in 1994 of a special article on homosexuality in the New England Journal of Medicine (Friedman & Downey, 1994), Jennifer Downey and I received a fair amount of—what can only be described as hate—mail from health professionals. One editor of a major psychoanalytic journal told me—in the 1990s—that they were interestedin my ideas about sex but would not consider any submission about homosexuality. What this meant was that there was no possibility of adequate peer review of this topic!

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Motion and meaning: psychoanalytic inquiry of so-called ADHD children

Heidi Staufenberg


In the title of my paper, with the word ‘meaning’ I am citing a central concept in the history and theory of psychoanalysis. The object of our word is to uncover meaning. Allow me to refer here to Freud who once said that, ‘Interpreting means finding a hidden meaning.’ And we all know that ‘finding’ is meant quite ambiguously here: finding something hidden, something that of course exists, but also finding in the sense of inventing, of something after the fact. I can not, and do not, wish to enter into the debate on the construction and reconstruction of meaning here, but I believe it is important to be aware of this set of issues. After all, in our work with children we encounter a danger inherent in psychoanalytical interpretation in an especially acute manner. By which I mean the danger of not addressing the subject, and with our interpretation imposing an outside meaning on the subject, namely the ‘patient’. In other words, in psychoanalytical practice the focus must always also be on enduring the fact that there are things we do not know. Bion’s (1963) famous statement that ‘no memory, no desire’ is reminiscent of the stance I call for here, namely inner openness toward the patient, that is, be cautious of ‘knowing’ and understanding in that ‘understanding’ is all too easily only an ostensible matter and can lead to conclusions that go straight past the subject. This admonishment to be cautious should really be taken to heart when working with children as the child does not speak to us with the same level of intellectual abstraction and self-reflection.

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CHAPTER ELEVEN Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk: objectives and agenda of a transdisciplinary research centre

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Individual Development and Adaptive

Education of Children at Risk: objectives and agenda of a transdisciplinary research centre

Marcus Hasselhorn, Ulrike Hartmann,

Sonja Reuße, and Andreas Gold

“Children at risk” as a starting point

Various international student assessment studies during the last decades have demonstrated that the probability of academic failure is dramatically heightened among children with low socioeconomic family background and those with a migration background (for example

TIMMS, PISA). More than in other countries, children with a migration background living in Germany achieve lower scores in reading literacy: Four out of ten first generation migrants belong to the at-risk group that ranks on the lowest literacy level. In other countries, however, this proportion amounts to about twenty-five per cent, whereas it amounts to about only fourteen per cent among German students without migration background (German National Educational Reporting Consortium, 2007). In view of the fact that the group of migrants below the age of twenty-five, which is of particular interest from an educational policy perspective, accounts for nearly thirty per cent of the population in Germany, the higher risk of academic failure for migrants is a hornet’s nest for the national educational system. Concerns for the future are even more pronounced, as the 2005 Microcensus data showed that thirty-three per cent of the children below the age of six years in


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8: Conclusion: future clinical, conceptual, empirical, and interdisciplinary research on sexuality in psychoanalysis

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Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber

It is to learn, for example, that love and history are related that betrayal of love is conditional upon time that faithfulness and faithlessness depend on the nature of the era in which all of it happens. The respective situation of each historical society strongly affects all procedures of love and betrayal; it influences the structure of feelings and the vitality of passion. Your way of feeling is influenced by particular patterns of the era anyway. The question of how these patterns come about and under which conditions they may alter, basically depends on the accessibility of historical changes to the field of Analysis…. [p. 105]

Today, stories about faithlessness, betrayal and vengeance are neither subject of studies dealing with the difference of characters of both sexes—Frailty, thy name is woman; La donna e mobile—nor are they pedagogical endeavours to salve civil matrimony and family as it was understood during the nineteenth century. Moreover, these stories are dramatic inquiries coping with the issue of loneliness of moral subjects in Modernity. Law and order are not only missing for betrayal and its retaliation, but also for one's own guilt and the guilt of the others. Characters regard themselves as being murderers, victims and perpetrators, covered by blood just like in the ancient tragedy. At the same time they are being tapped on their shoulders by many well-meaning, eloquent understandingly people, saying: live has never been easy for you…. [p. 419]

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CHAPTER EIGHT The First Steps: a culture-sensitive preventive developmental guidance for immigrant parents and infants

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The First Steps: a culture-sensitive preventive developmental guidance for immigrant parents and infants

Patrick Meurs


any children that are currently participating in preventive developmental guidance programmes in the major towns of the Western world are growing up in cultural or subcultural environments that differ substantially from those of white middle class families. In that perspective, the ability of the prevention worker to take into account very different cultural practices and scripts involving child development and parenting is of great importance (Emde & Spicer,

2000). This ability, referred to as “cultural sensitivity”, has been worked out systematically in the Belgian prevention project we have called The

First Steps. After describing the history of that project as well as the specific ports of entry we have in the target group of socially disadvantaged immigrant families, we will provide a section on culture-sensitive adaptations of psychoanalytic concepts and methods. This will be followed by a description of our empirical research, indicating how our studies on vulnerable developmental lines in immigrant children have shown effects of a targeted preventive intervention on their developmental profiles.

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