Spotlight on Psychoanalytic Psychology, V. 27 No. 1

By Louis Rothschild, PhD

In this spotlight of the current issue of Psychoanalytic Psychology, I wish to comment on structure in lieu of content. This is by no means due to a paucity of content. For there is much worthy of taking the time to read and consider - from an interview with Peter Fonagy to Janice Gump writing on trauma and African-American subjectivity to name just two examples presently holding my attention. The decision to address structure then is due to the fact that the winds have quietly changed within the journal. Not only is there now a series of interviews that began with Jeremy Safran interviewing Lew Aron in the last issue, but book reviews have returned as well. Change may be attributed to Elliot Jurist becoming editor. What I wish to spotlight then is simply that on the first page of this first issue of the year, Dr. Jurist makes his stance as editor explicit. Please do not simply take the time to note this due to the spotlight, but grab your copy of the journal and read page one. I hope that you will also read some more, but if you do nothing else: read page one. This is about the relation of scholarship to the Division in particular and to mental health in general.

In his capacity as editor, Dr. Jurist is raising an alarm. This is not to say that he is being alarmist. Far from it. The alarm itself is due to assessment that psychoanalysis is increasingly marginalized. Fortunately, a plan exists within the alarm. That the journal will focus on scholarship regarding the place of psychoanalysis within clinical psychology in a manner that is inclusive of other mental health professionals. In addition, there is a call to expand the scope of the journal to also include psychoanalytic perspectives on cultural phenomena. I read this call to spill scholarly ink as a refrain of an oft quoted saying (1839):

True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! —
itself a nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Caesars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!


Bulwer-Lytton, E. (1839) Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy: A Play in Five Acts. (second ed.). London: Saunders and Otley, Conduit St.