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Figlio, K. (1993). The Future of Analytical Psychotherapy: What do We Profess?. Free Associations, 4(1):85-96.

(1993). Free Associations, 4(1):85-96

The Future of Analytical Psychotherapy: What do We Profess?

Karl Figlio

In 1917, Freud enthusiastically welcomed Georg Groddeck into the ‘wild band’ of psychoanalysts with the following words:

I … must assert that you are a splendid analyst, who has securely grasped the essence of the matter. Whoever recognizes that transference and resistance are the pivots of treatment, belongs inescapably to the wild band. Whether he also calls the ‘ucs’ [the] ‘it’ makes no difference. (Honegger, 1974, p. 14; my translation)

By the time Freud wrote to Groddeck, he had finished his twelve metapsychological papers and his introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. In other words, this apparently simple formulation of the fundamental creed of the psychoanalyst — the psychoanalyst's profession — took priority over the theoretical structure of psychoanalysis.

I take Freud's statement to Groddeck to be a profession: he makes clear what declaration of commitment must be made to join the order of psychoanalysis; and, in more secular terms, what principles should guide the dedicated psychoanalytic inquirer.

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