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Kramer, C.H. (1967). Maxwell Gitelson: Analytic Aphorisms. Psychoanal Q., 36:260-270.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:260-270

Maxwell Gitelson: Analytic Aphorisms

Charles H. Kramer, M.D.

These aphorisms were collected and edited from notes by Drs. Mary Giffin, George Klumpner, and Charles Kramer during Dr. Gitelson's clinical conference on termination at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, 1963-1964. On the rough draft Dr. Gitelson made several deletions and amendments, commenting in a letter to the editor:

I think the modifications I have written in may spoil the spontaneity but they add to the accuracy of my comments. A number of statements that I crossed through were too ambiguous outside of the context in which they were made and were likely to be misunderstood.

Dr. Gitelson indeed would be the first to insist that psychoanalysis cannot be taught by maxims separate from the context of the analytic situation. Yet many of the spontaneous and timely remarks, made in immediate response to the impact of a clinical presentation, have a common-sense quality and a ring of timelessness which encouraged us to bring them to a larger audience. We, his students, present these notes as a memorial to Dr. Gitelson, in appreciation of his stimulating example in the classroom as teacher, analyst, and person.

The goal of analysis is the achievement of the best possible adaptation—one must settle for the possible.

A neurosis is a dysrhythmia—the outcome of an imbalance—between ego capacity and libidinal and aggressive developments.

The important thing is not the dynamics but the economics. Economic factors (psychic—not financial) determine analyzability, not dynamics.

The dynamics do not change; the aim of psychoanalysis is to modify economic factors.

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