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Lothane, Z. (2006). Reciprocal Free Association: Listening With the Third Ear as an Instrument in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(4):711-727.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(4):711-727

Reciprocal Free Association: Listening With the Third Ear as an Instrument in Psychoanalysis

Zvi Lothane, M.D.

The focus of this article is the psychological processes occurring in the ana-lysand and the analyst, and shaping the exchanges between them. These processes have been given by Otto Isakower the metaphorical name of the analyzing instrument while Theodor Reik used the metaphor of the third ear. In the spirit of the methodology of operationalism, the author was the first in 1984 to rename this process reciprocal-free association. The further focus is the status of free association as the foundation of psychoanalysis as method of psychological investigation, discovery (heuristics), and healing, even in its latter function, psychoanalysis contains additional, and equally essential, procedures, such as confrontation, reality testing, elucidation of ethical conflicts, logical analysis of premise and prejudice. But this does not mean mutual exclusion. Rather, such dichotomizing of the approaches to the analytic process reflects the fact of basic human archetypes, the cause of recurrent polarizations among analysts of poets versus pragmatists and scientists, those inspired by imagination, image and metaphor versus those guided by logic and literalness. A good method requires the conjoining of all the available approaches.

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