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Having a PEP-Web subscription grants you access to IJP Open. This new feature allows you to access and review some articles of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis before their publication. The free subscription to IJP Open is required, and you can access it by clicking here.

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Friedman, H.J. (1998). The Ego at the Center of Clinical Technique. By Fred Busch. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1995, xxiii + 257 pp., $40.00. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(4):1261-1267.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(4):1261-1267

The Ego at the Center of Clinical Technique. By Fred Busch. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1995, xxiii + 257 pp., $40.00

Review by:
Henry J. Friedman

When an experienced psychoanalyst produces a well-written, intense, and insistent book on his view of proper psychoanalytic technique, it is bound to attract readers who are eager to compare the author's view with their own, to monitor similarities and differences in approach, and to consider the usefulness of the book for teaching technique to new candidates in psychoanalytic training. Further, if the author presents his or her argument in a fashion that leaves little room for competing theories of psychoanalysis, with their inevitable impact on technique, then a new source of stimulation for thought and debate about psychoanalytic theory and technique has been launched. The Ego at the Center of Clinical Technique is a book destined to have an importance in psychoanalytic debate and education. In producing this lucid picture of a modern, ego psychologically based version of psychoanalytic technique, Fred Busch challenges psychoanalysts of different perspectives to respond to his ideas.

At a time when many psychoanalysts are changing their approach to the psychoanalytic dyad by emphasizing the importance of the real person and subjectivity of the psychoanalyst in the analytic process, Busch chooses to pursue the modernization of the classical Freudian, one-person view of psychoanalysis, with its “blank as possible” screen model of the analyst. It is both a strength and a weakness of this book that Busch deals so little with the major trends in psychoanalysis calling for its redefinition both as theory and as technique.

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