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Torsti-Hagman, M. (2002). A psychoanalysis which seeks popularity is a lost psychoanalysis. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 25(2):147-151.

(2002). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 25(2):147-151

A psychoanalysis which seeks popularity is a lost psychoanalysis

Marita Torsti-Hagman, M.D.

Psychoanalysis is concerned with the unconscious; it weaves fleeting connections with it, and studies its effect on the conscious mind. This is the only method which allows us to reach the unconscious, making use of the technique of dream interpretation and free association. The various effects of unconscious impulses take the form of psychic and somatic symptoms and of impulsive behavior. The psychoanalytic method should enable the analysand to make contact with the veiled meanings of the repressed self, above all with its strivings. Simultaneously, the origins of poorly-functioning psychic structures are also revealed. Psychoanalysis also needs to examine the varying potential of the patient to benefit from analytical work and arrive at a better understanding of his or her unconscious mind. We have seen, as Freud did in his time, that the benefit derived from analytical understanding, i.e., interpretation, is by no means self-evident. In the mental structures of patients, we encounter aspects which reject the integrating effect of the analytical understanding. This finding, the so-called negative therapeutic reaction, and the more detailed psychoanalytical study of its contents and the psychic functions and structures involved, has made psychoanalysis every year more and more challenging and interesting.

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