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Akeret, R.U. (1975). Reminiscences of Supervision with Erich Fromm. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:461-462.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:461-462

Reminiscences of Supervision with Erich Fromm

Robert U. Akeret

WHEN I THINK OF FROMM, I automatically think of his energy. He is one of the most intensely alive men I have ever experienced. With his charismatic presence, he compelled attention immediately. Time was life, not a minute could be wasted. He expected therapeutic time to be equally valued by patient and analyst.

Fromm consistently stressed the following:


Analysis is not a social encounter. If tension, pain and deep feelings are not present, from where will come the desire for change? Analysis is as serious as the surgeon's incision or the Zen master's rap. The analyst must constantly ask himself, "What is new that the person learned this hour or this week?"

Focus on unconscious

Dreams are central in helping a person move toward what is unconscious. Learn to help the person differentiate what is out of awareness and what is dissociated from what has never been experienced before.

Process of personality change

Personality change can occur only if the person is in touch with utter despair and personal pain. These feelings create the desire for change. Differentiate between temporary reform and genuine change. Unfortunately, most people tend to reform their behavior through psychoanalysis. Change must occur in the very core of the person, not as a facade.

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