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Segal, H. (1962). The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis—Contributions to Discussion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:232-233.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:232-233

The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis—Contributions to Discussion

Hanna Segal

(v) HANNA SEGAL (Reply)

Dissatisfaction has been expressed because the discussion has tended to veer towards problems of technique. It seems to me that such a development was unavoidable, as our ideas on what are the curative factors in analysis and our ideas on technique are necessarily interrelated. The curative factors in analysis will depend on what technique is used. On the other hand, the technique is geared to what the analyst considers the important curative part of the process.

I think that I made it quite clear in my paper that I still consider, in an old-fashioned way, that insight and the search for truth in itself is a curative process and that psycho-analytical technique is based on this concept.

Benassy said that there seemed to be a conflict about the relative merits of the curative value of love and the curative value of understanding. I have no quarrel with love, and I hope that Nacht has no quarrel with understanding. Like Nacht, I consider that a good therapeutic setting must include unconscious love in the analyst for the patient. In that respect, the analytical situation does not differ from any other sublimation, as in any successful sublimation unconscious love must be stronger than destructiveness. Where I part company with Nacht is when he says that a mediocre interpretation will be helpful if given with love. I do not think that is so, because in every relationship there is an appropriate expression of love and hatred, and the appropriate expression of love on the part of the analyst to the patient—not only an appropriate, but a specific expression of love in that situation—is understanding and correct interpretation.

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