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April 1959

The Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(4):533-534. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340160131027

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This is a well-organized presentation of a complex subject, written by an enthusiastic teacher of psychoanalysis. His enthusiasm sets the tone of the book, which is persuasive rather than objective. For the book leaves one with the impression that the author's aim was not so much to examine the theory of psychoanalytic technique as to impress upon the student the meaning of his role, the ethics of his function, and the significance which his personality plays in the psychoanalytic process. He appeals to the student to acquire the proper psychoanalytic "attitude" of patience, objectivity, and sincere respect for the patient's illness, since this—which in this reviewer's opinion must be more than attitude—makes the long stretches of seeming passivity of the psychoanalyst bearable for him and effective for his patient.

The psychoanalytic process begins when the "two-party contract" between patient and therapist becomes effective. The basic rules of the psychoanalytic method—free