Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To use the Information icon…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Nacht, S. (1962). The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:206-211.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:206-211

The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis

Sacha Nacht


Before we embark on the subject of curative factors, let us briefly recall what we mean by the state of mental health. Mental health as we see it is essentially the ability to live in a permanent state of harmony with oneself and with other people. It therefore implies that there should be a minimizing of intrapsychic conflicts, and consequently the presence of a strong ego; for, as we know, it is the weakness of the ego that leads to a neurosis. To ensure that the ego possesses the strength, control, and flexibility necessary to mental health, Freud has taught us that 'where id was, there shall ego be'; in other words, the unconscious instinctual forces must become conscious, in order to afford life-giving nourishment to the ego.

Psycho-analytic technique is based on these essential ideas, for all methods of ouring a sick mind concern the ego and are effected through it. It follows that there should in principle be a reciprocal relationship between theory and technique. However, at the International Congress of 1936 (19) the question was raised whether there was always complete agreement between theory and technique. Today we are asking ourselves the same question even though a quarter of a century has since elapsed.

Perusal of most psycho-analytic publications would lead one to suppose that we analyse our patients today in exactly the same way as we did twenty, thirty, or even fifty years ago. Now the conditions under which we work—the 'context', shall we say, of the treatment—have changed considerably since then: theoretical knowledge concerning the functions of the ego has greatly deepened and, with few exceptions, the very content of our clinical work has changed.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.