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Burris, B.L. (1995). Classics Revisited: Freud's Papers On Technique. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:175-185.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:175-185

Classics Revisited: Freud's Papers On Technique

Boyd L. Burris

The chair began by specifying the following six papers by Freud, published between 1911 and 1915, as the panel's subject: “The Handling of Dream-Interpretation in Psycho-Analysis”; “The Dynamics of Transference”; “Recommendations by Physicians Practising Psycho-Analysis”; “On Beginning the Treatment”; “Remembering, Repeating and Working Through”; and “Observations on Transference-Love.” Friedman then made the point that Freud intended these papers to stand as a single unit representing the fundamentals of treatment. Although the panelists selected their own topics, he noted, a few crucial issues seemed to reverberate: authority and mutuality; influence and autonomy; enactment and understanding. After summarizing several of these issues, he concluded by saying that his greatest interest in the papers stemmed from their being the record of the first novice in psychoanalysis: “We glimpse almost naked the problems that pull at Freud as he wraps them in technical terms by which we will ever after know them.”

Schafer made the initial presentation entitled “‘The Resistance’ and Freud's Countertransference.” He argued that the concept of resistance is superfluous for theoretical purposes, and is a source of confusion in clinical work. He argued further that Freud did not develop in a conceptually coherent way the idea of analyzing resistance; he emphasized its “uncovering” and “overcoming” while at the same time making it a matter of dynamic interpretation in ways that are indistinguishable from the analysis of the negative and erotic transference.

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