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Norman, H.F. (1956). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. IV, 1954: Problems of Technique in Adult Analysis. Anna Freud. Pp. 44-70.. Psychoanal Q., 25:284-285.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. IV, 1954: Problems of Technique in Adult Analysis. Anna Freud. Pp. 44-70.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:284-285

Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. IV, 1954: Problems of Technique in Adult Analysis. Anna Freud. Pp. 44-70.

Haskell F. Norman

This entire number of the Bulletin is devoted to the transcription of a seminar on psychoanalytic theory and technique conducted by Miss Anna Freud on May 10, 1954, for members and students of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. Robert Waelder was chairman. The discussants were Douglas O. Bond, Margaret Mahler, K. R. Eissler, Dora Hartmann, Maurits Katan, Mary O'Neill Hawkins, Paul Sloane, Rudolph M. Loewenstein, Eli Marcovitz, Daniel Silverman, Nathan H. Colton, Marianne Kris, Edward Kronold, and Sidney U. Wenger.

In an outline prepared for the seminar, entitled Problems of Technique in Adult Analysis, and in her introductory remarks, Miss Freud defined psychoanalytic therapy as one that recognizes and works with two processes in the patient's mind, transference and resistance, and that is dynamically, genetically, qualitatively, and structurally determined. Since such rules of analytic technique as the basic rule of free association, the use of the couch, and the handling of the transference have a logical basis in this definition, any technical modifications we

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introduce must be theoretically justified. Technical disagreements based upon theoretical differences between the various analytic schools of thought cannot be resolved until the theoretical differences are resolved. Modifications dictated by the emotional needs of the analyst can be understood as such when compared strictly with theory.

Because psychoanalysis today has broader application, we need new or modified technical prescriptions. The particular relationship between id and ego, manifested in transference and resistance, on which the analytic technique depends, applies only to neurotic disturbances. In other conditions, such as psychosis, delinquency, addiction, atypical character disturbances, and problems of childhood, there are quantitative or qualitative deviations from the neurotic pattern in the id and ego or in their relationship to each other. In such cases there may be manifestations of transference or resistance that exceed in force or malignancy the amounts with which we are able to cope, and modifications of technique are often necessary. However, we cannot estimate this until we have insight into the structure of the case. Two individuals with the same descriptive diagnosis and symptoms may react quite differently to the same technical procedure. Here it is not the procedure but the analyst's reasoning that is at fault. Similar or even identical symptoms may be based on very different psychopathology, and it is the latter that should determine our technique. For example, in the treatment of two male overt homosexuals the technical device of restraint of the perverse activity was applied. It was successful in the one case where the psychopathology was that of addiction. The patient was enabled to tolerate the deprivation by substitute gratification from the analyst, who was available for telephone calls at all times. This was clearly a departure from the classical technique. In the second case the same method failed. The analysis was nevertheless continued to successful conclusion, and it became clear that the technique had been inappropriate because this man's homosexuality had a completely different basis. For him the homosexual object served as a fetishistic substitute for his own penis and deprivation meant self-castration.

A lengthy but lively discussion followed. The participants gave examples of specific modifications of analytic procedure utilized in the treatment of special clinical problems. Miss Freud discussed each example, often amplifying it with material from her own clinical experience, and always endeavored to demonstrate the relationship between technique and theory. Some of the modifications were quantitative and others were qualitative. Some examples served to illustrate the 'perversion' of the analytic rules by the patient's neurosis for purposes either of defense or gratification. In these cases the problem was not of a special technique but rather of taking note of the deviation.

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Article Citation

Norman, H.F. (1956). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. IV, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:284-285

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