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Jonathan Sklar

Psychoanalyst, London




Hello, Jonathan; thank you for accepting this interview.

Good morning, great pleasure.

I would like to start with a general question: Who is Jonathan Sklar?

Who am I? Well, that's a sort of simple and very complicated thing, of course. I can start with some history.

I was born in London, I was born in Willesden, and I was born to an Orthodox Jewish family. My parents were born in this country, but my grandparents came from Poland and Lithuania. Some of my family survived, but some of my family did not survive the Holocaust. So that was quite a profound influence as I grew up. Those who were there, those who were not there.
Willesden was a dull little place, and my family was not very cultured. I didn't get taken to operas or concerts. I think the first thing I remember was Fiddler on the Roof coming into London. Of course, every Jewish family went to Fiddler on the Roof, which was all right, but it's hardly high or middle culture. And I found that as I was growing up, there was a very, very good library nearby. I would go every week and take out masses of books and take them back, and there was a record library, and I would take masses of records out and I started listening to Beethoven and Haydn and Mahler and Bruckner. And on my own, worked my way through great music. So I was reading myself. I was learning about music.
And I had two younger brothers. My middle brother was quite ill, seriously ill, when we were young, and we had a liver specialist from the Royal Free Hospital, a professor who would come and visit him and look after him. So, like many people from the helping professions, people who want to become doctors or nurses or psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and social workers, there's very often some history in the family of somebody not being well, and one wants to put it right. So I didn't know that was the reason I wanted to be a doctor, but that's one impetus. I found myself applying to the Royal Free Hospital, which is where Professor Sherlock had her laboratories, and later on, I was on her unit, but I decided that I didn't really want to be a hepatologist (liver specialist). The thing that made sense for me in medical school was psychiatry. As a medical student, there was a scheme where you could actually have your own patient, and it was supervised by one of the psychiatrists. So very early on, before I was qualified, I actually had my own patient rather than going to clerk a patient in the ward, and that and it seemed the most interesting thing to do, was psychiatry. So, well before I got my degree, I will have to tell you, I got very bored at medical school. The Royal Free was originally the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine for Women. The Women's Medical School was set up at the turn of the last century to encourage women into medicine. My year was the first time there was parity between men and women. I think they accepted me because I was tall and looked strong, and for some reason, the medical school wanted a rugby team to play the others. (Laughs) I knew nothing about rugby but didn't dissent when they asked me if I was interested. Of course, I was. I think that got me in, but I was surrounded by many women with great fervor whose idea of the future was that they should become doctors and then go off to treat the poor and the sick in Africa. Well, that's not a bad thing, but there are many of them in medical school, and they weren't very interested in life other than that. So I realized that if I failed pharmacology, I could have six months free. I would have to take it again and, hopefully, pass, and then I could get back into my course without missing anything. So I went with a friend who had just qualified in medicine. We bought a Land Rover, and in 1971, we drove to Pakistan. If you think about it today we drove across eastern Turkey, we drove across Iran, we drove across Afghanistan. And then we had a great time in Afghanistan, an extraordinary place. We went on into Pakistan and the idea was we'd drive to India. But in '71, Pakistan and India were at war, and the border was shut. So we could only progress if we sold our Land Rover, and we could only sell it for sheep and goats, which meant that we couldn't buy an air ticket to come back, so we had to drive all the way home. But it was an extraordinary trip, and I think it was very important for my late adolescent development.




I realized there were commonalities wherever you went in the world, even in most poor countries; people we met would know all the names of the British football team because we had won the World Cup the year before. Everyone knew about Bobby Charlton. It was extraordinary. So I went back, passed pharmacology, went back to medical school, and qualified on time, having had a really important adventure. I think it helped me become a very self-sufficient person because we had no fear about this trip. Let me pause there for a while; you must have other questions.
I was just wondering, you know, as a little boy, because you were already in adolescence, what sort of kid you were.

I think I was quiet. I think that I noticed what was going on. I had a very tough father who sent me to the wrong school. Because I got a free place, he liked it because my education was free, but it wasn't a very good school for me. It was a tough place because, in those days, there was a quota for Jewish boys in schools. I don’t think that is the case now. I think there were about 7 or 8 Jewish boys in the year of '90. But sounded very helpful that there was a group but actually, I was the only one who was Orthodox, so all the other Jewish boys would go along to happenings on Friday night or Saturday, putting on plays or music on Friday evening or playing sports on Saturday and this was something that I wasn't able to do because the family was Orthodox. So there was a sort of alienation for me, and I think that my mind crashed because I was quite clever before going to that school, didn't look after myself, and didn't do well in exams. So, I had to go and study at another school for six months. I took my A levels and got good grades afterward to get into medical school. But it was a bad environment, and I think that it was a sort of an attack on my intellectual mind, and then the rest of my life has been recovering. Which I've done. At the same time, it was important because medicine was great to study, but it's a very narrow subject, and I was at a medical school that was quite narrow. If I'd managed to get to, say, University College, London, I would have had the possibility of attending all sorts of lectures on the history of art, philosophy, history, whatever. So I've had to find myself, sort of. So you're in one of my libraries. I've got several libraries. So, I suppose I've become an autodidact over the years, and it's taken me a long while to recognize that the things I've found out for myself, rather than being formally taught, are real knowledge. But for a long time, I just thought everyone knew these things until I realized that what I knew I knew and I'd worked hard to know it wasn't a deficiency. It was something that was really rather important.

And what do you feel brought you to psychoanalysis?

Well, as soon as I could, I specialized in psychiatry at The Royal Free Hospital, and Friern Barnet (a Victorian mental hospital) which at the time was the largest mental hospital in Europe, an extraordinary place. It is no longer there, replaced by posh houses in Southgate in London. On the first day of the first psychiatric ward I was on, the chief nurse there, who had seen lots and lots of young psychiatrists, said to me: “Now you have to understand, Dr. Sklar, there are two sorts of crockery on the ward. There's the blue and the pink. The blue is for the staff, and the pink is for the patients.” I listened to this thinking the nurse had got an idea that there's a transmission of schizophrenia through a virus on a cup. And I thought, seeing as he wasn't wearing a uniform, so you couldn't tell who were the patients and who were the staff, that was for me a profound signal that I needed to go and have an analysis because I needed to find out which side I was on as it were. (Laughs) And I went and did that. So I wasn't in analysis because I wanted to be an analyst. My first analysis was really to find out what was going on. And out of that, I realized that I really did not enjoy psychiatry. I didn't enjoy the ECT. I didn't enjoy the idea that most of my colleagues were uninterested in listening to their patients. They wanted to have some diagnosis, give one of half a dozen medications, overly dull, overly empty. I've been reading Freud since I was 16, Winnicott and Masud Khan, and many others. Although I didn't know enough about the interaction between all that world and actual British psychiatry, which is a very empirical subject. So I realized I wanted to train as an analyst. I had the privilege of applying, so by this time, I'm about 28, for the British Psychoanalytic Society to train.

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At the same time, a job came up, senior registrar in the adult department at the Tavistock. Exactly the same time. So I applied for both. Thinking, well, I'm not gonna have a magical life, please, I might get one of those. And, to my absolute surprise - it was an enormous pleasure - I got into the Society to train and got the job at the Tavi. I became John Steiner's senior registrar for nearly three years, which was terrific. At the Tavi, we were learning psychoanalytic theory, and I was learning psychoanalytic theory at the British Psychoanalytic Society. I was having a double dose. I now had to get a training analyst. Adam Limentani, contacted me and said, “Well, Dr. Sklar, you’ve got in; who would you like your training analyst to be?” I said, “I don't know.” I really was quite naive because although I had been reading psychoanalysis, I didn't know about the three groups in the British Psychoanalytic. Limentani said, “Who might you think of?” So I said, “Well, I love the works of Michael Bálint and Winnicott, but they both died in -70 and -71.” So that wasn't the case. So he rang me a week later and said, “I found an analyst for you. The analyst that I got in mind had analysis with Winnicott and married Michael Bálint. She was Mrs. Enid Bálint.” (Laughs) So I said, “Okay.” And I went to her and she really, she sorted my mind out in the most extraordinary ways that I’m deeply indebted to the long analysis I had with her.

What sort of advice would you give to people who want to become analysts?

First, this is very important: please do not wait in your late thirties, forties, or fifties. If you have a desire to be an analyst, it's great to try and do it young. If you qualify when you're in your 50s or 60s, you do not have such a long career. It takes you 10 years after you qualify to begin to get a sense of what you're doing when you've finished three or four or five analyses. Then you need to have another ten and another ten and another ten finished, and gradually you can have some idea about what's really going on. There seems to be such a barrier if you're young and I think young people need to stand up against that and apply and get in. I qualified when I was 33 and now 70. So, I've been an analyst for a long time, and I hope I’m beginning to be a little bit better at it.

What do you think that makes a good analyst?

I think you have to be alive in yourself. I think you have to be alive to your knowledge of psychoanalysis, not as the theory that you're constantly thinking is this the right theory that I'm thinking about my patient, but to have one's theory in the back of one's mind and to be oneself as an analyst. One of the things that I think is very interesting is that one has a long and serious analysis in my society five times a week. I know the Eitingon model has been stretched recently from three to five, but the intensity of an intense analysis is extraordinary on one's psychosoma. When one's finished that work - it never finishes because one does self-analysis, I think it's very important to remember who one was before one started that and get back into oneself that is an analyzed character. In other words, to be yourself as analyst rather than being in identification with your analyst or I'm a this or I'm a that. I’m a Bionian, I'm an Independent, I'm a Kleinian. I think that's a sort of strange label. I prefer to be independent of all that. So I'm a psychoanalyst, I'm an Independent psychoanalyst, but I also think it's very valuable if you can speak different analytic languages because that frees one from being within a single analytic system. Who’s to say you can't help people get better, whichever theoretical system you're in? This, to my mind, as Michael Bálint thought, implies that this has something to do with the humanity of the analyst, never mind the theory.



What do you think happens in analysis? Why should people do analysis?

I don't think anyone should do analysis. I think when people have gone to get help from family or friends, neither of whom usually can help very much, CBT, the health service, every citizen can have their five sessions of CBT, and everyone who comes to see me has had that, and then thought, yeah, it doesn't help. So I think that if somebody is struggling with all sorts of emotional things or mental things, from neurosis, perversion, psychosis, or severe mental illness, I think that psychoanalysis can, in certain circumstances, with certain analysts who are interested in subjects of severe mental illness, it can be an extraordinary process.

Do you feel there is a change in the sort of patients you see these days?

No. I don't. I think they have different diagnostic labels. Hysteria is gone. Well, has it? I think one can find hysteria in all sorts of other things. ME, “me disease” (Ed. Note: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome), I think, has connections with hysteria. Now that's very difficult to say because the patients with that illness are almost certain it's physical. Well, so did hysterics during their opisthotonus.
There are extraordinary pictures from Paris, from Charcot’s clinic at Salpetrière. So I don't think there's very much change. There's a diagnosis of traumatic stress disorder. That's now a name. There was always traumatic stress, and if you go back to Freud's cases, the number of patients who had trauma is extraordinary. Freud was at a time when the Zeitgeist, the medical Zeitgeist for hysterical women and hysterical men, was to have surgery. So the treatment of choice for women was to have clitoridectomies, maybe to have their wombs and ovaries taken out, and the cruelty of the attack on the body to make the mind better is still an extraordinary thing. There were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of papers written in every one of the European languages, most of them in the field of gynaecology, about that. Of course, children were treated in the same way. Bad children were thought to need some sort of physical treatment which is to have circumcision if they hadn't had it. So, there is a lot of cruelty and disturbed behavior, which means a disturbed mind. So Freud coming along the scene is a radical departure.

Does this get us closer to your special interests in psychoanalysis?

I had the privilege of training in the British Psychoanalytic Society when there were three different traditions: Independent, Kleinian, and Contemporary Freudian. There are enough big beasts in each of the groups to allow there to be respect for the three different traditions, even though there was fighting from time to time. I think it's very different today when The British Psychoanalytic Society is a Kleinian society, although the other two parts are still there. So I was very interested in all of this and particularly interested in Winnicott and Bálint and the Independent group, of which there are many people. Which takes me to trauma rather than death instinct. I think death instinct clinically is very often a label applied as if it's telling the patient a lot, but it's actually a patch applied to the gap in the mind. I'm quoting Freud. And, of course, Ferenczi’s Confusion of Tongues paper, 1932, which he was giving at the 1933 Congress, but he went to Vienna first to actually give it to Freud, and Freud couldn't bear it.  In the end, he got up and said you must go now, and Ferenczi put his hand up to have a handshake. Remember, Ferenczi was the closest of all the group to Freud. But Freud didn’t shake hands with him. That was terrible for Ferenczi. Freud thought that a patient was kissed by Ferenczi. Ferenczi had a hysterical patient. She came into his room, sort of fell on him, kissed him, and said to all the other analysands in downtown Budapest, “I can kiss Papa Ferenczi whenever I want.” Freud heard about this because communications were swift in Europe in those days. So he thought that the analyst was attacking the patient, actually. And the question is, who was kissing whom?

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Freud didn't ask that question. He wrote a wonderful letter to Ferenczi. Freud thought that if an analyst wanted to do what an analyst wanted to do well, whatever they did, they should shut up about it. He didn't think they should do it, but the analyst shouldn't make it a theory. In the letter, Freud writes, soon there'll be many more people wanting to train as analysts because they think that it's very exciting and we'll all be involved in petting parties and a kiss will lead to sex and the whole of psychoanalysis will be something entirely different, we'll just be attending petting parties. Ferenczi was terribly upset because he realized that Freud was not understanding the trauma. In fact, the problem with the patient who went on to be a famous analyst in the US was that her father had incestuously attacked her. So, in the room, there was a whole recreation of the scene, but the other way around. So sometimes, an enactment in the consulting room is the only way that something can emerge because the patient can't put it into words. It can take place through an enactment. So that seems to be important; is there something else, or is there actually a deep trauma? For instance, there are still patients who come in who are in their 20s and 30s and bit by bit, you hear of stories, and you find out that there are still Holocaust stories from their grandparents, or even their great-grandparents, which go down the line, transgenerational trauma. And the patient has no idea, really, of its connection because it's in different fragments or in different strata of their mind, then you begin to realize that these things are connected and there’s a historical line, and it's profound.
A patient of mine some years ago could not understand why her Jewish father kept Nazi memorabilia in a cupboard. He had an antique shop that bought and sold Nazi memorabilia, and she had a problem after he died; what should she do with this plate which had a swastika on it? In the end, she realized that she didn't want to sell it or give it away because it might please someone who wanted to buy Nazi memorabilia, so she smashed it. I mean, why shouldn't a really bad object be broken rather than exist in all of its ambivalence? So I think trauma is a profoundly significant and deep part of the work of analysts.

Do you feel that it has something to do with your own life? I mean this choice of this interest so to speak?

I'll tell you a story. I went to a conference, an analytic conference ages ago. It was in The Hague. I like going to good restaurants sometimes, and there's a good restaurant just by a beach called Scheveningen in Holland. I was going for a walk on the beach that evening after the meal, and I got back to my hotel room and I thought, I'll phone my father. Well, this was the most unusual thing. I didn't phone my father. I mean, we spoke regularly, but the idea of ringing him from abroad because I just wanted to speak to my father, I realized it was odd. I didn't know what that was about. So I picked up the phone. He said, “Where are you?" I said, “I'm in Scheveningen.” “Oh, I have been there. I was there in the summer of 39. I was there with your grandfather, my mother's father, and we were meeting his relatives from Brody in Poland.” Two or three of them came and met my grandfather and my father, and they were saying, “Come to London, we'll look after all of you.” And I think in some breezy way, they said, “We're okay, don't worry.” And that was the last time my grandfather saw them. So, think of that shocking conversation. So, how did I know to phone my father? This was an unconscious communication. Freud and Ferenczi believed in unconscious communication. They would play unconscious games between Vienna and Budapest. So, somehow, in my history, maybe I'd heard that story as a kid. I had no memory of it, but the idea that I was on that beach later, where they had been, is a sort of a very powerful motif about transmission. You know, how does the mind know these things? Well, if you dare to grasp something, you can find something out that you thought you didn't know. This is Christopher Bollas' profound statement about the unthought known. So here's an example, and if you think of that as a patient and an analyst, those sorts of things can be discovered during analysis and traced and begin to be understood in terms of what this fragment is. Is it a fantasy? Yes, it may well be, but it might actually have a piece of history that mustn't be known because it's too terrible.



What do you feel are the main influences in terms of past and current authors?

Oh, Proust! “À la Recherche du Temps Perdu.” Many people start it, and they read maybe one volume. It's really difficult to read but, it's marvelous to read. You must realize that you might need to read it over two or three years. It takes time. But if one's really, really interested in sexuality and homosexuality, I think that Proust describes love and sex and hetero- and homosexuality in the most amazingly complicated details, which I think is a good adjunct to Freud.

In terms of contemporary psychoanalytic thinkers and writers, are there some influences that you would highlight?

I think Christopher (Bollas) writes incredibly. My colleague and friend Michael Parsons writes very evocatively. There are a lot of people who are writing about trauma. Carlo Bonomi has written a pair of books looking at trauma and what he calls The Cut, circumcision, in Freud, which is a very interesting pair of books. André Green is extraordinary and wonderful.

In terms of psychoanalysis in the institutes and the societies, how do you feel that has impacted you, and how do you feel that has changed throughout your career?

When I had the privilege of being vice president of the European Psychoanalytic Federation, the Berlin Wall had come down. That led to a huge number of young people, but also middle-aged people, wanting to have an analysis to find out what the hell had happened in the environment and in their minds. There were no analytic institutions because they were banned. So, there was the beginning of the development of Psychoanalytic Institutes in Eastern Europe, which has been where the main analytic growth has been for the last 25 years. That's tailing off now because that task has been mainly achieved, not completely. And the fourth region (China) is now the new focus. But we had a problem on the Executive: we knew that lots of people were training in psychoanalysis; they were analysts in Eastern Europe, but they didn't seem to come to EPF conferences. And it was very easy to know why. They didn't have very much money, that's still a problem economically between East and West Europe. But also they were very shy about what they thought they knew compared to the “riches of analysis” in Western Europe. So I said to the Executive, well, if they won't come to us, we have to go to them. I was put in charge of developing contact with the beginnings of new analytic societies in the East. All of the executive of the EPF board over the four years went to each of these societies on our own, introducing who we were and what the European analytic project was, giving a paper, and maybe doing supervision. So the mountain went to Mohammed, and it was wonderful. But then, in another way, I was watching the formation and deformation of new societies.
For instance, there would be people who were training, who had been, how can I say, perhaps informers to the Stasi or had been spies. People knew it but didn't want to know it. So this also became part of some analytic societies. And then I realized that because I was going to many societies for various reasons over the years, every society has its history, and societies are often run by extraordinary people. Ernest Jones. I think he was president of British Psychoanalytic for over 20 years. Think about it. I mean, dictators have been in charge for 20 years. (Laughs) I suppose everyone thought he was very good at it, or he decided that he was the best person, and analytic societies have this as a narcissistic problem: “This person is so good. Of course, we want more.” Well, then there's a problem with democracy; maybe you have to let go of these wonderful people and have somebody who's less wonderful, but it actually is better for the democratic process. So, I would like to see a project where analytic societies can find a place, a safe place, where, together with other societies, they might be able to reveal their own traumas. My society is full of traumas because of the controversial discussions in the Second World War and beyond that have not stopped being fought. It still goes on. It's very difficult when you're in an analytic society where you don't quite want to know, but some people are quite contemptuous about other people, and they're all analysts. One of the worst things to say about a colleague is if one's talking about somebody, “well, they haven't been properly analyzed, have they?” And you know, even to think that way is a terrible indictment. So, that would be a grand project, and I think it would be very good for psychoanalysis as a profession

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What do you envisage as the future of psychoanalysis?

I worry very much when psychoanalysis seems to be really enjoyed by society, big society. Some years ago, in the 60s and the 70s, you couldn't be a professor of psychiatry in the States unless you were also an analyst and a training analyst. So it was a sort of golden age of psychoanalysis in the US. That is not the case now. There has been a total wipeout for psychoanalysis from many universities and certainly from psychiatry, and the professors are far apart. So it doesn't work. I rather like the humble but real idea that psychoanalysis is an underground subject, the unconscious beneath the conscious. I think that if you hold on to its ordinary roots, psychoanalysis is an underground subject in society. So I don't think it's too helpful if it's reified. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be involved in society. On the contrary, I think at the moment it's profoundly important that those analysts who want to find links between sadomasochistic theory, knowledge of perversion, and totalitarian states of mind in the consulting room to apply that to what's going on in Society. It is profoundly important because Trumpism, fake news, Boris Johnson proclaiming himself Prime Minister in the Queen Elizabeth 2nd conference venue the day before our IPA conference began. What a connection between a sort of very right-wing moving towards perhaps the totalitarian society and psychoanalysis meeting in the same building. And I think it might help citizens in Europe, in the States, in South America, where dictatorships are also developing, well, that some of us need to speak up. I mean, there's always been an idea that psychoanalysts shouldn't speak about politics because it will “interfere” with their work with patients. I don't think that's true. I think it's a really important thing to do, which is why my book, “Dark Times”, is for me is very important because it goes back to what I was saying about the beach at Scheveningen, family history. This is an idea that actually the things that analysts know about violence and destructiveness of the human psyche, which can be treated in the consulting room, but actually, it can make understanding of these mad things that are going on that seem to be pulling us more and more to the 1930s. The difference being, Freud didn't speak up about what he knew was going on with the Nazis. Of course, he knew. It's in his letters. He didn't speak up, why? I think he was very afraid that the Nazis would point to psychoanalysis as a Jewish science and destroy it. Better to be silent. He came with his family to London, as is well known, and Princess Marie Bonaparte managed to help with that and brought all the statues and letters he had wanted to get rid of. So the difference between then for psychoanalysis and now is we know that the Holocaust happened out of that. We have a situation where Trump in the States has got his own soldiers. It's called ICE. These are the people who go around picking up, apparently, those people in America who are not entitled to be there. And I think that will turn into his private army. They will protect him when. Hopefully, he doesn't win the next election, and he will say, but of course, I won the election. “This is fake news, and the Democrats have been cheating.” The projection of cheating is always onto the other. It's very easy to read Trump as long as you reverse what he's saying. But people don't often realize that. And it's going to be a very racist, I hope he's going to lose, but he'll stay in the White House, he won't go. He will have to be evicted. So I think that the times are going to get much rougher. There's going to be much more violence in society. I think that with the very right-wing Tory government now installed since yesterday in the UK.



The racism and antisemitism, which have been on the rise in the last two years here and in Europe, is going to get worse, and if you notice Nazis are coming out of the woodwork, they are alive. I was invited to give by Lene Auestad to give a talk at a famous Literature House in Oslo last year. She said, “I've got a couple of really strong guys from the Anti-fascist League, and they're going to be at the door to make sure no Nazis get in.” I go, “Really?” It hadn't crossed my mind, but they were very serious. Anyway, I talked for about 40 or 50 minutes, and a lively audience was talking back with me. A man put his hand up and said very quietly, "I don't think the Holocaust existed." I couldn't hear this, no one in the room heard it. I heard it about a minute later because it was very shocking. I went back to this man, having ignored his thought, and I said, "You know, in my country, the UK, and in Germany, if you said that, it  would be a crime of hate speech, and you could be punished." There's a law in the UK and in Germany that Holocaust denial is punishable. Ironically in Norway, after Breivik's massacre of those 67 young socialists on the island, the government had a different way of thinking. I think a perverse form, which is to take the heat out of what's going on in society, we should allow anyone to say anything, and because of that, there is really a rise in Nazis in Oslo. At the weekend in some of the squares you can see well I would describe it as very large Viking people doing Sieg Heil salutes and shouting into microphones about how dreadful everything is from their perspective. With policemen standing at the edge of the square looking at my friend who invited me, I went up to them and said, “Why are you just leaning against the wall?” They answered, “This is freedom of speech.” Well, I don't think it is. I think it's false, fake freedom. So, because of my history, I am passionate about that at the moment.

I would just ask if there's anything that I haven't asked and you feel you'd like to add.

Yes, Rilke! Rilke said, always be a beginner. And I rather like that. Some people find that offensive because they think, why should I be a beginner? I have knowledge. But I think the idea of actually holding on to one's sense of not quite knowing what's going on and not having the arrogance of knowing in advance what a patient might be saying and where they might be going to. I think that's really very, very important, and to wait and see the various paths that open up. After all, every time we interfere with free association and make an interpretation, we stop at that moment. However valuable interpretations are, and I'm all for interpretations, we're also stopping the possibility of what might have happened if one hadn't spoken. You know, I'm still, at this point in my career, I'm very, very taken with Freud's description of free association. You're sitting in a railway carriage, and you're looking out the window, you see this view, this view, this view, this view, and then he says, and in time you will reach a point of seeing a view that you and the analysand never expected to be seen and talked about in that session. That, for me, is the profoundness of psychoanalysis where the analyst has to give up knowing where he thinks he is going to be beyond this without memory and desire, and if you can get in the groove of allowing that, the patient will lead us to where something really important and interesting can take place.

Thank you very much.

Thank you, it was a pleasure.

It was a pleasure for us as well.


London, 2019

Interviewer: Teresa Abreu

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