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Levine, H.B. (1997). How Freud Worked: First-Hand Accounts Of Patients. By Paul Roazen. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1995, 328 pp., $30.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:1314-1318.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:1314-1318

How Freud Worked: First-Hand Accounts Of Patients. By Paul Roazen. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1995, 328 pp., $30.00.

Review by:
Howard B. Levine

In the past fifteen to twenty years, the field of psychoanalysis has slowly begun to emerge from the prolonged period following Freud's death in which his written words were uncritically idealized and his authority in clinical and theoretical matters was accepted without question. During this time, such issues as Freud's views on female development and women, the relationship of his technique to so-called classical technique, and his disagreements with Ferenczi have been subject to reexamination and, where necessary, revision. Paul Roazen, the author of How Freud Worked, helped contribute to this reconsideration of Freud by means of a series of significant historical studies (Roazen 1969, 1975, 1993) that helped illuminate the social and cultural milieu in which Freud and his early collaborators lived and worked and in which the field of psychoanalysis developed.

One problem that has continued to surround Freud's work—and has confounded historians and analysts alike—is that except for the brief notes from the opening sessions of his treatment of the Rat Man (Freud 1909) and a relatively few articles and memoirs (e.g., Doolittle 1956; Kris 1994; Lipton 1977; Ruitenbeek 1973) we have had little access to any detailed material regarding what Freud actually said or did in his work with patients. Such information is not only relevant to the history of psychoanalysis, but, given the many controversies surrounding such time-honored technical concepts as anonymity, abstinence, neutrality, the therapeutic alliance, and the relative roles of interpretation and suggestion as therapeutic factors, has potentially important implications for clinical practice and the theory of technique.

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