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Kris, A.O. (1992). Interpretation and the Method of Free Association. Psychoanal. Inq., 12(2):208-224.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 12(2):208-224

Interpretation and the Method of Free Association

Anton O. Kris, M.D.

There was a reason for my choosing as the title of my book not The Dream but The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud, 1925, p. 46

Interpretation has been at the center of psychoanalysis from its beginnings, but it has also evolved as the analytic enterprise has evolved. So it will hardly surprise anyone familiar with the shifts in stance and in perspective that have characterized the development of psychoanalysis that interpretation should itself require some sort of interpretation. What is interpretation? How is it generated, how delivered? What is its content, its scope, its aim, its authority? How does it influence the patient? These questions, among others, regularly occupy the interest of those who have taken up the topic (e.g., Ferenczi, 1928; Freud, 1933; Hartmann, 1951; E. Kris, 1951; Loewenstein, 1951; Gray, 1973, 1987; Arlow, 1979, 1987; Blum, 1983; Spence, 1982, 1986).

Formulation of psychoanalytic concepts and observations from the viewpoint of the method of free association offers an opportunity for reconsideration of these questions. I shall rely upon the distinction between interpretation as a continuing activity and interpretation as a particular kind of analytic intervention.

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