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Rosnick, P.B. (2017). ‘Opening Remarks at a Practical Seminary’ by James Strachey. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(3):729-754.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(3):729-754

Archival Studies

‘Opening Remarks at a Practical Seminary’ by James Strachey

Phillida B. Rosnick

(Accepted for publication 11 July 2016)

This manuscript, dated 1941, is a class on technique taught by James Strachey to first-year candidates at the British Psychoanalytical Society (BPS), located in the Archives of BPS. As the last of three written manuscripts on transference interpretation, it offers an opportunity to trace the development and subtle shift in Strachey's thinking following his 1934 paper (Strachey, 1934, 1937). The lecture is striking in its precise language, and in the complexity of the issues discussed. Through the use of an optical metaphor, the magic lantern, Strachey illustrates transference, what is therapeutic about a transference interpretation and describes projective identification and some aspects of counter-transference without naming them as such. Strachey makes a persuasive case for careful attention being paid to the analytic situation, the “artificially simplified relationship between analyst and patient” with systematic comparison to psychotherapeutic techniques of support and reassurance, which he argues lead to only temporary and limited results. The author argues that Strachey continues to be influenced by Klein's developmental, technical, and object relational theories as was already evident in his 1934 paper.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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