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(1957). Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2: Thomas S. Szasz. 'On the Experiences of the Analyst in the Psycho-Analytic Situation: A Contribution to the Theory of Psycho-Analytic Treatment.'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:134-135.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2: Thomas S. Szasz. 'On the Experiences of the Analyst in the Psycho-Analytic Situation: A Contribution to the Theory of Psycho-Analytic Treatment.'

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:134-135

Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2: Thomas S. Szasz. 'On the Experiences of the Analyst in the Psycho-Analytic Situation: A Contribution to the Theory of Psycho-Analytic Treatment.'

The aim of this paper is to ascertain the nature of the analyst's experiences in the treatment situation. Emphasis is not laid upon the problem of undesirable counter-transference, but upon revealing the irreducible and unavoidable satisfactions which constitute the 'realistic' counterpart in the analyst of the experiences of the analysand. Szasz notes that while the literature abounds in references to those aspects of the analyst's behaviour which might impede the analytical work there are few which are relevant to the theme of this paper. He singles out papers by Sharpe (1930), (1947), Low (1935) and by A. and M. Balint (1939) which make a point of underlining the gratifications which the analyst derives from his work which are neither 'altruistic' nor based on counter-transference.

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Szasz proceeds to detail the psychological satisfactions which the analyst obtains, beginning with those mentioned by Sharpe (1947). To these four which are not specific to psycho-analysis he adds a further four. First, the pleasure derived from doing useful work. Second, the pleasure derived from being needed. Third, the pleasure from the mastery of conflicts in human relationships through verbalization and mutual understanding. This is unique to psycho-analytic therapy. Fourth, pleasure derived from contact with the patient as a protection from loneliness. When these eight factors are considered as an entity many differences between analysis and other situations (such as that between parent and child and doctor and patient) become immediately apparent.

Considerable resistance exists against recognizing the satisfactions which the analyst obtains from his work. The source of this resistance is considered to be due to the universal phantasy of the 'ideal' adult who gives but does not have any needs in his own right. The 'psycho-economic' implications of this theory are described at length. The final section of the paper is devoted to a discussion of the principal reasons for the persistence of such 'psychoeconomic' derivatives.

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Article Citation

(1957). Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:134-135

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