The necessity on occasion to give certain directions to the patient as to his or her action, to interrupt the stream of talk; the extension of such directions and interruption to the patient's phantasies are based upon the fundamental psycho-analytic rule—overcome resistances. The method differs from the therapeutic use of suggestion since its aim is quite other, as is the immediate reaction; moreover the analyst must be ever ready to modify or withdraw his directions if they are erroneous or incomplete, even if already accepted by the patient. In cases where the analysis is not progressing favourably the objection against giving on occasion direct association commands thus disappears.
Where there is more or less complete absence of phantasy during analysis as in life, where dramatic scenes are reproduced without corresponding affect, Ferenczi does not hesitate to compel the patient to bring up the adequate reaction, and should this fail to imagine and invent such reactions. The objection usually made, that such phantasies are artificial, unnatural, is accepted; the truthfulness and the objective reality of such phantasies may be questioned. Hesitatingly at first, but with increasing reliance, such artificial phantasies are produced. Usually the interval till the next sitting suffices to undo any value, so that the same or similar phantasies must be frequently repeated till insight is obtained. In other cases there results quite unexpected material which furthers the analytic work. Should this now contradict the forced phantasies the error must be recognised. Three kinds of phantasies come chiefly into question:
1. Positive and negative transference phantasies.
2. Infantile reminiscences.
3. Onanistic phantasies.
Examples are given from recent cases.
A man not deficient in phantasy although very inhibited in emotional expression was told rather brusquely that his friendly and affectionate
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attitude towards the analyst was futile; a limit was set for the analysis by which he would be discharged, cured or not. Instead of the expected reaction of anger and revenge the next sittings were colourless and workless. Told that he must dislike the analyst, he replied that he felt nothing but friendliness. Compelled to express hostile ideas there came, after the usual attempts at refusal, a series of increasingly hostile phantasies finally accompanied by obvious anxiety. Then a phantasy of putting out the eyes of the analyst, who was made to play the part of a female. In the result the patient was able to relive in the person of the analyst nearly every infantile situation of a complete Oedipus situation. Ferenczi gives in some detail two other cases where this technique was used. This procedure was seldom employed except towards the end of treatment. No general rule can be laid down as to the kind of phantasies to be demanded. Much experience is required in 'non-active' analysis before venturing on interfering in any way with free associations. If a false direction is given (as happens to even the most experienced) the cure is prolonged instead of shortened. Ferenczi concludes his paper with some observations on the relation of phantasy to infantile sexual traumata. He finds that poverty in emotional expression is most frequent in children who have been 'too well' brought up. A certain measure of 'sexual trauma' is beneficial. But this must be not too much, too strong, or too early.
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Eder, M.D. (1925). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:465-466