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Lipton, S.D. (1977). The Advantages of Freud's Technique as Shown in his Analysis of the Rat Man. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 58:255-273.

(1977). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 58:255-273

The Advantages of Freud's Technique as Shown in his Analysis of the Rat Man

Samuel D. Lipton

While psychoanalytic technique is often considered uniform or standardized, there are actually many areas of disagreement. These disagreements are more concealed or glossed over than revealed in the literature, but I assume that other analysts, like me, have learned about them in discussions with colleagues and from the reports of patients who have been treated by other analysts. The fact that these disagreements exist and the complicating fact that they are not documented plainly makes it impossible to reach general conclusions about technique. In my opinion what is referred to as standard technique may be considered a trend, perhaps a dominant trend, and in what I designate as modern technique I mean no more than that. It is only for clarity in exposition that henceforward I shall refer to Freud's technique and modern techniques as if there were a sharp, uniform distinction. I shall attempt to distinguish the two techniques and to point out the advantages of Freud's technique over modern technique.

While the issue I am discussing is broader than can be subsumed under the discussion of a single case, I shall base an important part of my argument on Freud's technique in his analysis of the Rat Man (Freud, 1909) mainly because by that means I can document a number of points. I shall defend the argument that Freud's technique in that case was his definitive technique and point out how it differs from modern technique. Then I shall describe the difference further with information I have learned in discussions with colleagues which is not in the literature.

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