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Furer, M. (2000). Opening Remarks. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(4):414-419.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(4):414-419

Opening Remarks

Manuel Furer, M.D.

The meeting today approaches perspectives on contemporary variations in technique, practice, and theory, through consideration of two analytic cases; one is presented by Dr. Epstein and the other by Dr. Dunn. I expect the discussion will explore a continuum of positions and proclivities in theory and technique and that we shall all leave better informed.

I will focus on one of the current controversies, the issue of the participation of the analyst in the analytic process. In the forty years that I have been in practice, there have been many changes in psychoanalytic technique. Two recent experiences were, to me, telling illustrations of one of these developments. A patient who was analyzed by me years ago, and had recently returned for additional analysis, said to me one day, “Analysis seems to be friendlier than it was twenty-five years ago”—a correct perception. Note, at that point he said analysis, not yet the analyst. He had also changed compared to the stoic he had been. He could now express affection and the wish for affection more easily to me.

The second experience was a presentation made to our faculty by Dr. Michael Singer, the Chairman of the Certification Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Singer, in arguing for a terminated case as a requirement for certification, said that the Committee wanted to know how the analyst experienced mourning for the loss of his patient, how he handled not only the patient but himself.

The inclusion of the analyst's participation was also evident in a class on advanced technique, which I taught over many years.

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