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Busch, F. (1996). Fred Busch Responds. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44:654-655.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44:654-655

Fred Busch Responds

Fred Busch, Ph.D.

While Dr. Brenner and I are in agreement about many areas, we have important differences which deserve to be highlighted. There are also particular shadings he puts on what I write that are different from what I intended.

While I would agree with Brenner that the “advantages of defense analysis are generally accepted,” what different analysts mean by defense analysis is quite disparate. I believe it is no longer useful to perpetuate the myth of an unbroken line of defense analysis from Anna Freud to present day analysts. Gray's (1982) “developmental lag” paper was the first to dispel this myth, while my paper on resistance analysis (Busch, 1992) supported Gray's view from another perspective. Pray (1994) demonstrated the significant difference in the technique of defense analysis between Brenner and Anna Freud, while Brenner's (1994) eschewal of the ego as a useful construct, and his view that “there are no mental mechanisms or activities that serve the function of defense and nothing else” (p. 482) indicates a radically different view of defense analysis from that of Anna Freud. Thus, I believe there are fundamental differences in how analysts do defense analysis, and these differences have a significant impact upon technique. Masking these differences will only hold up our increased understanding of technique.

Brenner believes I recommend an approach free of dynamic understanding, but this is not the case. What I am writing about is not how the analyst understands, but what he or she does with that understanding.

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