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Gray, P. (1973). Psychoanalytic Technique and the Ego's Capacity for Viewing Intrapsychic Activity. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 21:474-494.

(1973). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 21:474-494

Psychoanalytic Technique and the Ego's Capacity for Viewing Intrapsychic Activity

Paul Gray, M.D.


In summary, this has been a consideration of that aspect of analysis of the neuroses concerned with the listening analyst's perspective of attention or perceptual focus. A preference has been indicated for adjusting this focus so as to observe data limited essentially to inside the analytic situation. Elaboration of this point of view included illustrating specific advantages that it offers in the analysis of communications of the patient referring to current or contemplated

behavior outside the analytic situation, sometimes labeled as "acting out."

The preceding have been considered in terms of the evolution of psychoanalytic technique—the increasing understanding of the role of the ego, the diminishing importance of measures of suggestion and persuasion, the increasing awareness of the importance of not pre-empting the patient's ego function during the course of the analysis.

It is suggested that the ideas that are stressed are also in the interest of improving analysands' capacities for eventual self-analysis. I believe that greater effectiveness of psychoanalytic technique in increasing the ego's autonomy lies in further discoveries about the functions with which the normal ego can perceive itself.

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