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A Question of research for psychoanalysis, the health service and the university

The Letter, Issue 38, Autumn 2006, Pages 71 - 80


A QUESTION OF RESEARCH FOR PSYCHOANALYSIS,

THE HEALTH SERVICE AND THE UNIVERSITY

Patricia McCarthy

Introduction

I am not in a position to address my original topic The state of the transference today at The Freud 150 event because of a change of circumstance. However Barry O'Donnell has prevailed upon me to talk about the question of research as it applies to Psychoanalysis, the Health Service and the University. This is in the context of my recent appointment as Director of the School of Psychotherapy at St. Vincent's University Hospital and UCD. For the moment, I cannot afford to dwell too much on the fact that technically I am succeeding Cormac Gallagher as Director of the School, simply because I feel like I have been thrown in at the deep end and have to thrash about a bit in order to take my bearings in relation to changes that are unfolding about us. Cognisant as I am of these changes purely as they impinge on the practice of psychoanalysis, they are taking place not only in the University but in the Health Service with both of these domains also having an influence on each other. And so I cannot afford to mourn a so-called gentler time, 'old school' versus 'new school' etc as the various restructurings underway in the university in particular, are currently being described by some academics. Anyway is there ever such a thing? Because of the compulsion to repeat, we are ever unchanged in relation to our reality as we find it at any given time. Surely the Chinese blessing or, indeed curse that we may live in interesting times is always relevant. And so it is for me these days.


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