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Khan, M.R. (1962). Dream Psychology and the Evolution of the Psycho-Analytic Situation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:21-31.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:21-31

Dream Psychology and the Evolution of the Psycho-Analytic Situation

M. Masud R. Khan

I. Freud's Self-analysis and the Discovery of the Analytic Situation

Jones (47) in his biography of Freud tells us: 'Two important parts of Freud's researches are intimately connected with his self-analysis: the interpretation of dreams, and his growing appreciation of infantile sexuality' (p. 320). Kris also stressed this in his introduction to the Fliess Letters (p. 33). What has not been sufficiently pointed out is that the unique gain to the science of psycho-analysis from Freud's self-analysis, which he undertook in the summer of 1897 and kept up for a lifetime, was the invention of the analytic situation as the therapeutic and research instrument towards the understanding and resolution of another person's intrapsychic unconscious conflicts, which are symbolized and epitomized in his symptoms and illness. Freud's self-analysis was conducted on two parallel lines: (a) through interpretation of his dreams, and (b) through empathy and insight into his clinical experience with patients. This latter was an old bias of Freud's temperament. As early as 29 October, 1882 he had written to his fiancée: 'I always find it uncanny when I can't understand someone in terms of myself' (Jones, 47p. 320).

Freud's self-analysis not only gave us his monumental work on dreams and the theories of infantile sexuality as well as hypotheses on the aetiology of neuroses in infantile psychic life, but it essentially and irreversibly changed the aim of therapeutic endeavours. The invention of the analytic situation changed the goal of analytic process.

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