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Berk, R.J. (1995). The Contemporary Significance of Freud's Early Psychoanalytic Technique. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(4):209-212.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(4):209-212

The Contemporary Significance of Freud's Early Psychoanalytic Technique

Robert J. Berk, Ph.D.

As we look at the evolution which has occurred in the field of psychoanalysis over the last fifty years, it is simply not possible to discuss contemporary psychoanalysis without invoking Freud. Our conference, of course, is dedicated to contemporary psychoanalysis; therefore, it is entirely appropriate for us to explore this topic.

Early contemporary psychoanalysis, I would suggest, began with the gradual evolution of the libido theory. Subsequently, contemporary psychoanalysis increasingly concerned itself with the early preoedipal dyadic relationship between mother and infant as well as the concomitant development of the ego. Finally, Freud's monumental and long lasting contribution to the clinical understanding of hysterical symptoms is increasingly relegated to the status of a superfluous antique. Analysts who are familiar with the ongoing contemporary significance and utility of Freud's early conceptualizations concerning the dynamics of hysteria and its treatment understand that the symptoms often represent and express an incompatible idea which has been repressed. When the analyst directly interprets the symptoms in a timely and accurate fashion, transference analysis is stimulated and enhanced.

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