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Ringstrom, P.A. (1998). Influence and Autonomy in Psychoanalysis. By Stephen A. Mitchell. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997, 280 pp., $39.95. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(2):619-627.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(2):619-627

Influence and Autonomy in Psychoanalysis. By Stephen A. Mitchell. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997, 280 pp., $39.95

Review by:
Philip A. Ringstrom

In this landmark volume Stephen Mitchell draws into his crosshairs the central target of psychoanalytic discourse since Freud's first attempts to develop a clinical methodology free of the direct suggestion of hypnosis. The question Freud undertook to answer is how the analyst can become as little influential as possible in the development of the patient's autonomous sense of self. This is a noble part of the psychoanalytic heritage; no other theory or practice of mental health so occupies itself with this ultimate quest for untainted liberation. Nonetheless, the history of answers to this question has been problematic.

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