Who is Afraid of Michael Balint? Medical Humanities and the question of psychoanalysis
Michael Balint and the Balint method are often invoked in the writings of medical humanities scholars as historical precedents and a source of inspiration. There has been, however, little systematic engagement with Balint's texts and with the psychoanalytic premises of his work. This reflects a more general situation in the field, where discussion of the medical relevance of psychoanalysis is conspicuous by its absence, despite a number of recent contributions. Taking Balint as a point of departure, this talk will look at the ambivalent relationship between medical humanities and psychoanalysis. Without adopting a psychoanalytic approach, I will propose that the question of the medical relevance of psychoanalysis can be a source of specific anxiety in so far as it points (too) directly to a critique of the medical scientific model.
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