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Summers, F.L. (1998). Frank Summers Responds. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(3):995-1001.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(3):995-1001

Frank Summers Responds

Frank L. Summers

October 17, 1997. First, Mitchell and Black's volume and my book are not competing texts. Their book, as they point out, is meant to be a general introductory text written for an audience unfamiliar with psychoanalysis. My book has a different purpose: to offer a text in object relations theories for new and experienced psychoanalytic clinicians looking for greater familiarity with object relations thought and its application to the therapeutic process. Clearly, the two books are meant for different audiences. There is no conflict of interest, and if I thought there were such a conflict, I would have declined the review. Now to the specifics.

With regard to the treatment of early psychoanalytic history, the only treatment technique the authors mention in their discussion of Studies on Hysteria is hypnosis. In a succeeding section, “From Hypnoanalysis to Psychoanalysis,” they write that “from 1895 to 1905 … psychoanalysis emerged from hypnotism and became a distinct methodology and treatment in its own right …” (p. 5). They go on to say that “around the turn of the century, [Freud] settled on the method of free association …” (p. 6). But in fact psychoanalysis did not emerge from hypnotism in the period 1895-1905: Freud had abandoned hypnosis and was placing people on the couch and asking for their associations even before the appearance of Studies on Hysteria in 1895; indeed, as I noted in my review, the latter procedure, as well as the pressure technique, is discussed at length in chapter 4 of that work. There Freud considered the therapeutic task to be the overcoming of resistances to the associative process by insisting that the patient remember. The therapist's goal was to make the unconscious pathogenic ideas conscious; the patient would resist these efforts, and the process would go on until the pathogenic material became conscious. Clearly, even before the publication of Studies on Hysteria, psychoanalysis had become, with its reliance on the free association technique, a “distinct methodology and treatment in its own right.”

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