This way of working has rarely, if ever, been easy, and certainly not easier than a more normative and judgmental position. But I believe it is the only one that is defensible from a position that believes in people being in charge of their own destiny, and that repeating the past is a deadening straitjacket. My views are substantially influenced by the views of Bowlby about the importance of the attachment system, of real events and the real relationship, and of the relational emphasis in contemporary psychoanalytic practice. 


I believe parts of what I have said may sound radical, and be uncomfortable to some of you. Lacan, who has inspired many of the organisers of this conference, took the view that every age needs to look at people, society, and reality in its own new original way. And he never shied away from controversy. I hope that my ideas may lead to some further fruitful discussion.


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