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Ticho, G.R. (1967). On Self-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 48:308-318.

(1967). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 48:308-318

On Self-Analysis

Gertrude R. Ticho


It is an interesting phenomenon that the science of psycho-analysis, which owes so much to the self-analysis of its creator, largely disregards self-analysis in its literature. The importance of self-analysis for the continuing mental health of a former patient may be controversial, but all analysts will certainly agree that the ability for self-analysis is a prerequisite for the competent practitioner of psycho-analysis.

Some former patients forget nearly everything about their analyses and may never get into serious difficulties again. They wanted relief of symptoms, and when this aim has been accomplished, they feel no further incentive for the continuation of self-investigation. Other patients shift their goal during the course of analysis to a more ambitious one: to obtain increasing mastery of their inner life by keeping neurotic unconscious interferences at a minimum. The psycho-analytic candidate should have self-analysis in mind from the beginning of his training analysis, and his personal analysis should help him to become deeply convinced of the need for it and should give him a good foundation for becoming an effective "self-analyst".

In "Analysis Terminable and Interminable, " Freud (1937) states clearly that for the psycho-analytic practitioner, analysis is an interminable task. His advice for the solution of this dilemma is self-analysis and periodical re-analysis without feeling ashamed about taking this step. He said the following about self-analysis:

We reckon on the stimuli that he [the analysand] has received in his own analysis not ceasing when it ends and on the processes of remodelling the ego continuing spontaneously in the analysed subject and making use of all subsequent experiences in this newly-acquired sense.

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