The author says that before the war he disbelieved the doctrines of Freud, but that since the war he has had to accept the fact of repression in the Freudian sense.
He says that before the war he did not often find a history of sexual trouble in patients, whereas since the war there now comes a stream of
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sexual material. This is certainly not the experience of psycho-analysts, who find just the same resistances against recounting sexual details as before.
Dr. Ross writes:
We know that Freud sometimes makes suggestions, and that the lesser analysts often do so, and it is therefore not only possible but even likely that no independent interpretation of symbols ever takes place, all the symbols being merely Freud's.
To Freud then are to be ascribed all symbols discovered during an analysis. Now, on page 37, Dr. Ross has either been guilty of making suggestions during an analysis, and in that case his statement that he conducted the analysis by free association and with a single suggestion is incorrect, or the patient was acquainted with Freud's works, for the patient discovered by free association that God was standing as a symbol of his father. Dr. Ross does not point out that this symbol was merely Freud's. The author states that
free association is an instrument very useful for discovering what is in a patient's conscious mind, but doubtful for discovering unconscious thoughts, and difficult to use.
We find, however, that the author apparently surmounts the difficulties in the case he reports he analysed by free association (p. 37), and at the same time furnishes proof of its use in discovering what is in the patient's unconscious mind, for we cannot imagine that the author believes his patient was conscious of the fact that God was a surrogate of his father until it dawned on him by virtue of free association.
Dr. Ross remarks:
If these sexual symbols which are constantly being found in uncured analysed patients are true, their appearance in consciousness has done nothing but harm.
As is usual in such papers there appear fantastic accounts of enormous sums of money spent on analysis without any result being obtained, whereas a cure is afterwards brought about, usually at the writer's hands, by a simple talk. Thus,
It was strange to meet an officer, who had been analysed for some years, and be the first person to elicit from him in our earliest conversation the statement that he feared he had been a coward in the war; the discussion of this statement led to his being able to resume work very quickly.
With the author's remark,
The light-hearted fashion in which it (Freudian analysis) is employed at present makes one anxious for the whole future of psychotherapy,
we would agree, provided by 'employed' he means 'pretended to be employed'.
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B., D. (1924). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:91-92