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Garma, A. (1962). The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis—Contributions to Discussion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:221-224.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:221-224

The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis—Contributions to Discussion

Angel Garma


The following remarks refer to Dr Nacht's paper in this Symposium, dealing with the person of the analyst.

Interpretation is a psycho-analyst's specific activity. Incorrect interpretation would therefore be a specific neurotic symptom of his which could be modified by psycho-analysis. Taking this as a spring-board, the possibility arises of carrying out research on the curative factors in psycho-analysis by discovering the motivation of incorrect interpretation, if not in analysts, at least in candidates in psycho-analytic training. The curative factors in their training analysis will be those producing a favourable change in the motivation of their incorrect interpretation.

I carried out this research during the months previous to a symposium on headaches I organized in the Argentine Psycho-analytic Association. At the time candidates in training analysis in Buenos Aires were very interested in the psycho-analytic interpretation of their own headaches and those of their analysands. In the course of their psycho-analytic treatments, it was relatively easy to discover whether their interpretations were correct and also the unconscious motive for their errors.

The most frequent mistake my candidates made was to interpret repressed aggression towards the environment secondarily turned against the ego, in situations where it would have been more adequate to interpret masochistic reaction consecutive to external or superego aggression. This study deals only with this kind of error.

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