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Jelliffe, S.E. (1914). Technique of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Rev., 1(4):439-444.

(1914). Psychoanalytic Review, 1(4):439-444

Technique of Psychoanalysis

Smith Ely Jelliffe

(Continued from p. 307)

The Sources

There is no royal road in psychoanalysis, for every analysis is after all a highly individualized problem. At the same time there are general principles, else a technique could not be evolved. In actual practice a number of different approaches may be utilized, and just as in the royal game of chess there are recognized openings, mid game and end problems, so in psychoanalysis one's method of application of fairly well understood and accredited principles must be carefully chosen with special reference to the character of the case in hand.

Among those of considerable experience it is not infrequent to find marked diversity of opinion regarding the chief factors and the most useful methods to be employed in analysis. The beginner is often overwhelmed with “ex cathedra” statements “never do this,” and “always do that”; Freud says this and Jung says something else; Adler advises so and so, Ferenczi the opposite. One will say, “I always begin this way,” another says, “No, begin this way.”

This is to be expected in view of the comparative newness of the present methods, and the highly complicated nature of the material to be studied. The analyst himself should recognize, however, that psychological analysis is by no means new, even if that special brand of it, psychoanalysis, has been given a new name, and is without doubt a more concrete and adequate group of working hypotheses than those heretofore utilized.

The interest taken in the mental life is very old. From the earliest times different aspects have been carefully observed. Of modern students of these Dessoir has given us a very useful summary.

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