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Arlow, J.A. (1979). The Genesis Of Interpretation. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 27S(Supplement):193-206.

(1979). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 27S(Supplement):193-206

The Genesis Of Interpretation

Jacob A. Arlow, M.D.

THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOANALYTIC TECHNIQUE are derived from and reflect the psychoanalytic theory of the neuroses. Essentially, psychoanalysis is a psychology of conflict. Kris (1950) said that psychoanalysis is human nature seen from the standpoint of conflict. The basic setting of psychoanalytic treatment and investigation, the psychoanalytic situation, is structured in terms of the fundamental principles of psychic determinism, dynamic interplay of forces in conflict, and topographic considerations that indicate the influences of forces outside the consciousness. No matter how differently analysts may conceptualize the observations they make within the psychoanalytic situation, practically all agree that the psychoanalytic situation is the specific, essential, and irreplaceable method of treatment and investigation. The genetic viewpoint in psychoanalysis is empirically founded. It derives from repeated psychoanalytic observations demonstrating that the conflicts underlying neurotic symptms have their origin in the instinctual wishes of early childhood. These unconscious conflicts cluster around organized unconscious fantasies whose derivative manifestations intrude upon conscious mental functioning not only as symptoms and dreams but also in the form of parapraxes, conscious fantasies, etc. (Arlow, 1969).

Fundamentally, the function of the psychoanalytic situation is to further several important technical goals. Foremost among these is to ensure that what emerges into the patient's consciousness is as far as possible endogenously determined, i.e., that the thoughts, fantasies, feelings, etc., that the patient perceives represent derivatives of the persistent pressure of his unconscious conflicts.

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