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Sharpe, E.F. (1930). The Technique of Psycho-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:251-277.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:251-277

The Technique of Psycho-Analysis

Ella Freeman Sharpe




These lectures are addressed to you as students who through your own personal analyses are convinced of the truths of psycho-analytical science. They are offered to you in the hope that yet another individual view-point, gained from many years of practical experience, may be valuable to you in your work.

There are two ways of acquiring knowledge of technique before the practice with clinical material begins. The first and most important of these is the unconscious assimilation of the technique employed in the student's personal analysis. After he has experienced the resolution of transference-affects to an analyst, it should be possible for an analysand to recognize the skilled technique that was employed in bringing to conscious understanding the unconscious springs of thought, feeling and action. In the most successful analysis, the technique that has been employed will not be flawless. The able analyst can admit this without fear. The well-analysed person will be able, without reproach, to recognize where technique has failed to elucidate or to resolve some inner difficulty. The attainment of this attitude towards technique means that we recognize ourselves still as students, and that technique admits all the time of becoming finer and subtler as we increase in our power of dealing with human beings.

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