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Summers, F. (2006). Freud's Relevance for Contemporary Psychoanalytic Technique. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(2):327-338.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(2):327-338

Freud's Relevance for Contemporary Psychoanalytic Technique

Frank Summers, Ph.D., ABPP

It is argued that Freud's influence on contemporary technique is best seen by separating Freud as a hermeneuticist from Freud as a natural scientist. Freud's hermeneutic work is elucidated by a depiction of his earliest model of technique and its application in The Interpretation of Dreams. The division of the latter work into the first 6 chapters as a hermeneutic and the last chapter as a metapsychology is used to show not only the split but the conflict in Freud between his hermeneutic of the mind and his attempt to found psychoanalysis as a natural science. It is shown that the shift in analytic thinking from the primacy of drives to the growth and transformation of the self has maintained interpretation as a necessary, although insufficient, condition for the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis and that interpretation continues to bear the stamp of Freud's hermeneutic of the mind.

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