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Busch, F. (1997). Commentaries. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:40-45.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:40-45

Commentaries

Fred Busch

In his role as our psychoanalytic muse, Lawrence Friedman has offered a variegated plenary that sums up succinctly the ferment in our field from an historical perspective, while placing technical differences among us within the visionary context of distinct experimental approaches. From this plethora of conceptual riches I would like to extract one concept, “the objective work relationship in analysis,” and its role in taking “some of the vertigo out of the relationship.” It is but one of many concepts introduced in this plenary that have the potential to stimulate further thinking on the basic concepts of psychoanalytic technique.

A premise on which most psychoanalysts can agree is that there are primitive unconscious fantasies and feelings that cause inhibitions and enactments, which eventually lead individuals to recognize they are in need of help. “The neurotic process and transference,” Arlow (1985) has written, “may be understood as representing how the individual misperceives, misinterprets, and misresponds to, the data of perception, in terms of the mental set created by persistent unconscious fantasies” (p. 526). Reexperiencing these split-off fantasies and feelings within the context of the transference becomes a most powerful argument for their existence, and a persuasive demonstration of their role in neurotic symptoms. Even among analysts of different theoretical persuasions, little argument would be found, even to this day, with the following assertion from the report of a 1958 panel on “Technical Aspects of Regression during Psychoanalysis” (Calder 1958): “in psychoanalytic treatment there is an optimum degree of ego regression to the extent that free association and the development of the transference neurosis occur” (p.

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