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Mahony, P. (1979). The Place of Psychoanalytic Treatment in the History of Discourse. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 2(1):77-111.

(1979). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 2(1):77-111

The Place of Psychoanalytic Treatment in the History of Discourse

P. Mahony, Ph.D.

No doubt ‘in the beginning was the deed’ [Goethe's Faust] and the word came later.

—Freud, “The Question of Lay Analysis” (p. 188)

Nothing takes place in a psycho-analytic treatment but an interchange of words between the patient and the analyst.…Words were originally magic and to this day words have retained much of their ancient magical power. By words one person can make another blissfully happy or drive him to despair, by words the teacher conveys his knowledge to his pupils, by words the orator carries his audience with him and determines their judgments and decisions.

—Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (p. 17)

Not only is psychoanalysis unique among therapies, but it also stands apart as a speech event in the history of discourse.

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