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Whyte, R. (1984). Letter to the Editor. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:504-504.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:504-504

Letter to the Editor

Robert Whyte

Abstinence reconsidered

DEAR SIR,

Having been stimulated to thought by the paper 'The principle of abstinence reconsidered' (Fox, R. P., Int. Rev. Psychoanal., 11: 227–236, 1984) it seems to me that, as a matter of technique, when dealing with 'principles' or 'rules', these are not to be stated bluntly to the patient (as in Fox's first vignette where the patient was not allowed to use the bathroom). Instead, they are guidelines or warnings to the analyst, who, having been thus forewarned, can treat each request of the patient on its own merits and explore the meaning of the request with the patient, i.e. subject the request to analysis rather than acting out.

Yours

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