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Pöstényi, A. (1979). Tacit Assumptions, Countertransference and Psychoanalytic Technique: Part one: The influence of tacit assumptions on theory. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(2):159-172.

(1979). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 2(2):159-172

Tacit Assumptions, Countertransference and Psychoanalytic Technique: Part one: The influence of tacit assumptions on theory

András Pöstényi, M.D.

It is a trivial observation that many of today's analysands do not seem to fall into the classical categories of psychoneurosis or psychosis, but somewhere in between. This is probably due to several factors such as, changes in the typical character structure in society, changes in the recruitment basis of analytical patients and also changes in the analysts' theoretical perspectives. We have, in my opinion, also to take into account the average analyst's personality structure, which may be, or rather, is probably different from what it was in the pioneering days. This leads to greater sensitivity in some areas of observations, but to diminished acumen in others. Expressed slightly differently, we have our ”blind spots“ elsewhere, and there is no guarantee that we have fewer than the pioneers. Of course, this influences our diagnostic work.

The extension of these ”blind spots“, being unconsciously determined, is affected only minimally by the fact that the analytic community as a whole has been accumulating clinical experience for eight decades. Besides, the loss of information from generation to generation is probably underrated. Nor is it at all clear if and to what extent this accumulated experience corresponds to increased knowledge. Although nuclear physicists know more about atomic structure today than during Niels Bohr's lifetime, it would certainly be naive to assume that the situation is as simple in psychoanalysis: that analysts of 1979 obviously ”know more about the human psyche“ than Freud did towards the end of his life.

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