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Inclusion and Exclusion in Psychoanalysis: From Splitting to Integration in Our Theory and Practice

Reyna Hernández-Tubert


Psychoanalysis has been historically split in oppositional conceptual and ideological pairs. This either/or thinking is the “principle of exclusion,” as opposed to the “principle of inclusion,” framed in terms of both/and. This is a defence, which occurs simultaneously at the individual, interpersonal, and collective levels. At the societal level, it produces the emergence of warringgroups or schools. There is a dichotomy between two opposing conceptions of the humanbeing, which view it as either an isolated, drive-ridden entity that accepts relations and social groups only reluctantly, or as an essentially social being, with a primary need to relate.This has a major influence on our therapeutic practice and on the experience we provide our patients, which depend on both parties’ conceptions of the world, beliefs, and values, which should become the subject for the psychoanalytic inquiry and dialogue.When interpretation is conceived as the analyst’s technical uncovering of a hidden truth, this determines a completely different climate from one that ensues when it is seen as the result of a shared inquiry and dialogue. This is a set of positive values that must be preserved.


conception of the world, exclusion, inclusion, relation, splitting, values

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