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Ticho, G.R. (1974). Discussion of Ralph R. Greenson's "The Decline and Fall of the 50-Minute Hour". J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:792-794.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:792-794

Discussion of Ralph R. Greenson's "The Decline and Fall of the 50-Minute Hour"

Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D.

ALTHOUGH IN HIS PRESENTATION Dr. Greenson concentrates on the 50-minute-hour schedule without the traditional interval of some 10 minutes between patients, he touches on broader and more universal problems. One problem, in my view, is that of the conflict a great number of analysts face: to reconcile the values of present-day society, determined to provide help for all rather than for the select few, with the values of the psychoanalyst, whose priority is the individual. The other problem Dr. Greenson deals with indirectly is a trend, not only toward materialistic gains, but also toward fame, status, and power. No rules imposed by institutes or psychoanalytic societies can help the analyst solve these problems; he must find his own solutions. And it takes a good deal of autonomy as well as continuous self-scrutiny to draw the line between giving in to some of the demands of our society and adhering to basic humanistic values of respect for the uniqueness of the individual, who deserves and has a right to the best we can give.

Not all analysts find that the "nonstop" schedule causes them hardship. Some analysts are most comfortable seeing several patients in a row and then taking a longer interval for attending to their other activities. In which case, there can be no question of their adopting a schedule for materialistic reasons. Each analyst undoubtedly has his own way of scheduling his patients. Do we really know the optimal time for analytic sessions and intervals for all analysts and all patients?


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