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Glover, E. (1927). Lectures on Technique in Psycho-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:486-520.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:486-520

Lectures on Technique in Psycho-Analysis

Edward Glover



As a prelude to the consideration of 'defence' mechanisms, it may be remarked that on this occasion we are not primarily concerned with stages in the analytic situation. I imagine that in the discussion of the opening phase we did in fact cover the ground appertaining to the first stage of analysis. We might say that the main objectives were to allay anxiety, to allow for preliminary modification of the patient's super-ego, and thereby to permit a more or less unhampered development of the transference situation. I see, however, that by discussing 'Defence-Resistance' immediately after 'The Opening Phase', I may have created the impression that there was little or no defence in the first stage and that a defensive phase constituted the second stage of analysis. In one sense this is really the case. Such defences as are dealt with in the opening phase are so treated in order to clear the ground for more primitive representations of unconscious ideas, or, in terms of the association-technique, to allow primary processes to play their specific part in guiding the train of presentations. It is therefore true to say that the real disposition of the defensive forces will only begin to be uncovered towards the end of the opening phase. But of course, strictly speaking, a defensive phase is not a stage in itself. Throughout the whole of the analysis the mind will exercise a defensive function. We may remind ourselves too that, although the defences actually dealt with in the opening phase are chiefly those which act as obstacles to the unfolding of analysis, there are many signs of deep-lying resistances and many significant indications of the cause of these resistances. These have to be treasured for future reference, the time being not yet ripe for their complete interpretative handling. The exceptions to this procedure mentioned last time were such cases as prove seriously refractory to the ordinary analytic approach.

To get any comprehensive grasp of the problem of defence-resistance, it is necessary to approach the subject from many different angles.

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