Dear Dr.Rios Magalhaes,
It was a pleasure to meet you in Paris, although I felt distressed to recognize that you had worked to prepare a substantial presentation that you were blocked from offering. I think that was a real loss and that the clear unwillingness to listen to and hear others was a serious cloud that hung over the meeting.
You asked that I send you a very brief statement of what I reported about American analysis today, speaking as an American analyst but not as a spokesman for American analysis.
The major point I wished to make was that analysis in America no longer fits the caricature of political rigidity or theoretical distance from the unconscious that is the image still held by many on the continent. Psychoanalysis in the States now is more broadly open and even enthusiastic than it had been for many years. The American Psychoanalytic Assn, changed from the bottom up (that is, starting with the growing insistence of openness by the members and now reflected in the organizational structure), is broadly inclusive where it had been exclusive. New journals have taken root and blossomed; extension of psatic thought beyond the medical has been vastly enriched by those coming from a wide range of allied disciplines; an enthusiasm for psa that long seemed diminished has now reappeared among those in training.
The factors I mentioned as accounting for the change included
1) the law suit against the American for previously excluding lay analysts,
2) the alienation of the members of the American themselves against prior establishment rigidity,
3) the creativity of many American voices (such as Sullivan, Erikson, Mahler, Kohut, and Loewald),
4) the influence of visiting teachers presenting the ideas of Klein, Lacan, Bion, etc., and
5) the altered financial circumstances that led those attracted to psa for reasons of prestige or money to move elsewhere and leave the field more freely to those attracted by the ideas of psa.
My intention was to try to get those present to reconsider close-minded ridicule of American analysis as interested only in the superficial or in power and freshly to open their minds to ideas coming from psychoanalysis in America.
I trust such a brief summary gives you already more than you would want to include in any report.
Once more, I tell you that I was pleased to get to meet you even if unfortunately briefly, and that I send you
My Warm Regards,