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Friedman, L. (1997). Response. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:61-78.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:61-78

Response

Lawrence Friedman

I am grateful for the attention of these distinguished and creative analysts, and pleased to learn what special concerns were touched on by my argument. Just as today's new psychoanalytic ideas can be seen as experimental probings into the invisible structure of treatment, my paper may serve as an experimental probing of the reader's worries. The discussants have responded by highlighting, among other points of interest, four large questions to which I did inadequate justice.

1. What is the status of technique in psychoanalytic treatment? Please note that this is not the same as asking which technique is best. And it is distinct also from the questions of what the “curative” factors are and what the relative importance of relationship and understanding is. Indeed, analysts of all stripes and generations have at times been heard to say that “technique” is a misnomer, that it doesn't fit what they are doing, that it is a pernicious distortion of a rather immediate and natural encounter. (One thinks of Otto Isakower.)

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