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Springmann, R.R. (1970). What he is or what he Does. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:479-488.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:479-488

What he is or what he Does

Rafael R. Springmann

In a recent paper Naiman (1968) quoted Frosch & Ross (1964) about the relative absence of papers ascribing curative effect of analytic process to the reconstruction of infantile neurosis. Reviewing opinions about the role of the analyst in the therapeutic process, he cited, on the one hand, Nacht (1962) as spokesman for the standpoint that it is by his personality that the analyst cures, and, on the other, Bibring (1954) and Eissler (1958), who maintain interpretations to be the core of analytic therapeutic activity.

In his paper Naiman put forward convincing evidence as to the effectiveness of interpretation by presenting the short-term therapeutic effect of a specific interpretation in terms of change in the content of dreams and associations and improvement in psychosexual behaviour.

The purpose of the present paper is (a) to support Naiman's evidence about the specific therapeutic effectiveness of interpretations by presenting extracts from a case in which they played a prominent and almost exclusive role, sometimes resulting in immediate and dramatic effects and finally leading to a cure through the uncovering and dissolution of the infantile conflict; (b) to present an extract from a case in which a definite reaction could be attributed to a non-interpretative intervention; (c) to contribute to the debate about the role of the analyst by comparing the results achieved by the two types of intervention, non-interpretative and interpretative, using them respectively as illustrations for the two polar points on the axis of what the analyst is and what he does.

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