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Kanzer, M. (1963). The Psychoanalytic Situation: By Leo Stone. Freud Anniversary Series. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1961. Pp. 160. $3.30.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 44:108-110.

(1963). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44:108-110

The Psychoanalytic Situation: By Leo Stone. Freud Anniversary Series. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1961. Pp. 160. $3.30.)

Review by:
Mark Kanzer

Leo Stone's 1961 Freud Anniversary Lecture at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute is devoted to the psycho-analytic situation. While an excellent, though necessarily compressed, exposition of the subject, it is dominated above all by an urgent, almost impassioned plea for recognition of the human element, which he regards as apt to be lost in the technique of practising analysis. At the basis of this estrangement, he feels, are the two roles of scientist and therapist, which the analyst must somehow combine. Freud commended the surgeon as a model for the integrative task.

The analytic situation, with its rigidly codified behaviour for both patient and physician—its laws of abstinence for the one and its mirror injunctions for the other—disposes towards an elimination of many of the modes of behaviour and points of contact between people which are most characteristically human. A circumscribed verbal contiguity alone is permissible; the physical and emotional relationship of both partners is one of 'deprivation-in-intimacy'. Two isolated minds, imprisoned in machines, transmit their vital need for each other exclusively through the medium of words which may constitute at times a frail instrument for communication of the tensions of life.

Some message of humanity must nevertheless be conveyed, according to Stone, if therapy is to result. The inclination to mutual withdrawal is otherwise too strongly entrenched in the procedure to overcome the separation and rejection problems that are at the roots of neuroses.

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