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Macdonald, R.A. (1938). Clinical: J. H. Van Der Hoop. 'On the Objectivity of the Psycho-Analyst. Brit. Jour. Med. Psych., 1938, Vol. XVII, Part 2, pp. 201–216.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:490-490.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Clinical: J. H. Van Der Hoop. 'On the Objectivity of the Psycho-Analyst. Brit. Jour. Med. Psych., 1938, Vol. XVII, Part 2, pp. 201–216.

(1938). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 19:490-490

Clinical: J. H. Van Der Hoop. 'On the Objectivity of the Psycho-Analyst. Brit. Jour. Med. Psych., 1938, Vol. XVII, Part 2, pp. 201–216.

R. A. Macdonald

A contrast is drawn between divine influence, magic and suggestion, on the one hand, and psycho-analysis on the other. The latter aims at objective knowledge of the patient's mind. After a brief survey of how psycho-analysis obtains this, the analyst is himself examined in order to find how his objectivity is arrived at, and a number of factors are considered. Among these a knowledge of his own ego reactions, in the light of the work of recent years on ego-psychology, is essential, but it is impossible to be a mirror for another person's thoughts and feelings, without using one's own subjective personality as an instrument for the purpose.

The super-ego and its development are next touched upon, and the aims of psycho-analysis in regard to them are stated. The ideals of the patient may be altered by psycho-analysis, and though the analyst may not wish to do so, he inevitably must to some extent, by acting as an auxiliary super-ego. Has he a right to assume that his ideals are objective, or has he his own special form of ideal demands for human health and happiness? This form seems at least to be ranged against self-deceit and cheap forms of narcissism.

The conclusion is come to that 'Objectivity implies being open to all possible forms of subjectivity, having experienced in one's self the sins of mankind as well as its highest aspirations, and being aware of the different ways in which the ego tries to harmonize these influences'.

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Article Citation

Macdonald, R.A. (1938). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:490-490

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