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Rechardt, E. Jensen, R. Salonen, S. Svalheim, R. Pöstényi, A. Larsson, B. (1981). Report on a Panel Discussion on Interpretation. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 4(2):193-199.

(1981). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 4(2):193-199

Report on a Panel Discussion on Interpretation

Chairman Eero Rechardt, Panelists Reimer Jensen, Simo Salonen, Roar Svalheim, Andás Pöstényi and Reporter Bo Larsson

Panel report

Professor Jensen proposed four main areas to be discussed. His first area concerned the question “What do we mean by interpretation?”. His own definition was: “By interpretation in psychoanalysis is meant verbal expressions with an intention to establish connections between psychic elements, which are not immediately experienced as connected to each other”, stressing the importance of verbalization. His second problem area was concerned with “What is interpreted?”. After a short summary of Freud's views on interpretation according to the topographic and the structural models, he stated his opinion that “psychoanalysis is not a historic science, trying to reconstruct what has happened, but a science of the ‘traces’, which have been left by reality”. He stressed that what is interpreted depends both on psychoanalytic theory, on the knowledge of the analysand and upon what is intended by the interpretation. Jensen reminded us of the well-known fact that different psychoanalysts use very different strategies of interpretation, and that they probably have always done so. He himself preferred to be rather restrictive with interpretations in order to stimulate the analysand to find his own way. The fourth area concerned the aims of interpretation, their effects, and their validity.

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