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Reik, T. (1924). Some Remarks on the Study of Resistances. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:141-154.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:141-154

Some Remarks on the Study of Resistances

Theodor Reik

Anyone who has followed attentively Freud's first published analysis of a case of hysteria, from which psycho-analysis dates its existence, cannot overlook the significance of the defence symptoms during the treatment. It has become increasingly evident that the theory of resistance (and transference) which was evolved from the observation of those signs of defence has become one of the fundamental principles of psycho-analysis. Freud has again quite recently stated that over and above the special results of analytical work just this factor 'has remained for him decisive for his conviction of the ætiology of the neuroses'.

In spite of this high theoretical and practical significance of the factor of resistance, it has received relatively little treatment in psycho-analytical literature up to the present. Anyone who knows how many difficulties stand in the way of describing any one complete analysis will also recognize that it is impossible to follow up and select for special description the part played by resistance within this process apart from the analysis of dreams and symptoms. Indeed, the resistance runs like a red strand through the analysis, and it would be as difficult to disentangle it from the whole as from the ropes of the English navy. The object of the following remarks, the fragmentary character of which has already been indicated in the title, is merely to stimulate discussion of a conception which is of such importance for psycho-analytical teaching.


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