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Rosen, V.H. (1967). Disorders of Communication in Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 15:467-490.

(1967). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15:467-490

Disorders of Communication in Psychoanalysis

Victor H. Rosen, M.D.

DESPITE THE extraordinary adaptability of human language as a means for communicating ideas, its limitations under certain conditions are as impressive as its efficacy under others. It is not surprising that misunderstanding, so often regarded as part of the human condition, should occur during psychoanalysis. Recent literary forms and preoccupations reflect this view of misunderstanding. Today, I shall concern myself not with the general philosophical problems of thought communication (33), but with certain specific difficulties in verbalizing ideas encountered during the course of analysis. I am concerned particularly with those disorders that are made manifest by the technique of free association itself.

In the analytic situation, we encourage a form of communication in which the usual conventions of meaningful dialogue are suspended. It might therefore be thought that difficulties in the communication of ideas would be elicited less frequently during free association than during more usual forms of discourse.

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