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Balint, M. (1951). The Inner Experience of a Psycho-Analyst: By Theodor Reik. (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1949. Price 21 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:326-327.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:326-327

The Inner Experience of a Psycho-Analyst: By Theodor Reik. (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1949. Price 21 s.)

Review by:
M. Balint

Reik complains 'It is much easier to make a new idea enter the head of the Statue of Liberty than the minds of many psycho-analysts'. I think everyone who has tried to convince a highly critical scientific public that his discoveries are of importance, will feel great sympathy with these lines. What then is the new idea that causes so much trouble to its creator? Reik recommends us to shift the emphasis both in our thinking and in our interpretations from the meticulous and conscientious analysis of some details in the patient's associations to an intuitive assessment of the whole situation, especially of the patient's actual relation to his analyst. Doubtless a correct idea, but it should not be over-emphasized; it has its rightful place, but so has the detailed analysis of certain details—at least as a sobering counter-balance of some intuitive ideas which might be quite off the target. That is, a sense of proportion is what is needed—and perhaps Reik has strained the proper proportions in his argument to some extent in order to get his point through. But, again, so have we all who have tried to describe some new idea. Hanc veniam petimusque damusque vicissim.

Perhaps Reik himself has felt in this way, for time and again he has felt the need to apologize to his readers for having modified some of Freud's theoretical concepts. He pleads guilty to this charge, but at the same time fervently asserts that he has remained a true and loyal pupil of his analyst, his master, and his eventual friend—Freud.

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