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Simon, B. (1993). In Search of Psychoanalytic Technique: Perspectives from on the Couch and from Behind the Couch. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:1051-1082.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:1051-1082

In Search of Psychoanalytic Technique: Perspectives from on the Couch and from Behind the Couch

Bennett Simon, M.D.


The author's experience as a patient in analysis with four different analysts is recounted. Similarities and differences in technique, especially with regard to overall analytic atmosphere, use of interpretation, reconstruction of childhood, dream interpretation, self-revelations of the analyst, and the way politics was discussed are compared. The author concludes that major differences in personality and temperament of the four analysts made a substantial difference in the experience of analysis. Finally, the author discusses whether such differences are indeed important, and in what sense we can speak of the place of analytic technique. Is it a body of teaching and practice that is aimed at minimizing the differences attributable to individual analysts' style and temperament, or is it a body of teaching and practice, still to be elaborated, that gives us a full and flexible account of how analysts actually function?

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