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Le Guen, C. (1989). Necessity and Risks of the Control of Regression. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:20-23.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:20-23

Necessity and Risks of the Control of Regression

Claude Le Guen

Of all the clinical experiences I have ever had, there is one that never ceases to surprise me; yet I have often had it and shall have it again. I am referring to my encounter with the effects of a different form of psychoanalytic practice.

Such encounters may arise when reading or listening to a colleague who practises by other techniques than those familiar to me, with different theoretical reference points and even perhaps claiming allegiance to a different school. However, the particular case I am thinking of is when I have on my couch a person who is entering upon a second analysis after having previously lain on a Kleinian or Lacanian couch (I shall refer mainly to these two schools because, apart from my own approach—which I would describe broadly as 'orthodox Freudian as practised in France'—they are the ones I know best). The final possibility that occurs to me is supervision of students whose approaches are moulded by these other orientations.

This, then, is the sum total of my clinical experience of encounters with the practices of other schools. Apart from its effects on my moods and prejudices, it does not seem to be enough to give me a valid opinion of these other techniques. Intuition rather than rational argument suggests to me that how a treatment proceeds has much more to do with the 'analytical qualities' of those involved than with the virtues of each school's specific techniques. It follows that, both in the process of treatment and in the observance of certain technical principles, there might be a dynamic determination which controls what takes place in this process, beyond all the technical variations (which would then be limited to understanding more or less well and taking account more or less relevantly of what is happening).

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