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Kris, E. (1956). On Some Vicissitudes of Insight in Psycho-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 37:445-455.

(1956). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 37:445-455

On Some Vicissitudes of Insight in Psycho-Analysis

Ernst Kris, Ph.D.

The complexity of current psycho-analytic discourse on technique suggests that I state what I take for granted before I attempt to come to the small area of problems that I propose to survey in some detail.

Psycho-analysis offers the theory applied in many if not all psychotherapeutic techniques, and supplies a rationale even where its application is not intended. Some procedures central to these psychotherapeutic techniques play at best a peripheral role in psycho-analytic therapy. Their use tends to be part of the introductory or critical phases of treatment, and some of these procedures have come to be considered as parameters, which adjust technical precepts to specific situations or afflictions (33), (5). Even when parameters can be avoided, the interventions of the analyst through interpretation may be taken by the patient as clarifying opinions or reassuring hints; and the nature of the treatment situation itself (e.g. when the analyst does not react to criticism and aggression) may gain the impact of a corrective experience. The 'valence' of these experiences is clearly established by the fact that sooner or later in the course of treatment most of the patient's reactions to them will have to be viewed in their relation to defence and resistance. With the term resistance and the temporal dimension, a 'sooner' or a 'later', we refer to a distinct property of psycho-analytic therapy: its character as a process, with a notion, however loosely defined, of progressive development over time in a definite direction.

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