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Laforgue, R. (1934). Resistances at the Conclusion of Analytic Treatment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 15:419-434.

(1934). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 15:419-434

Resistances at the Conclusion of Analytic Treatment

René Laforgue

I propose in this paper to discuss certain aspects of the resistance of the patient during and at the conclusion of psycho-analytic treatment.

The patient's resistance to the treatment varies with the psychic structure of his disease. This structure is itself the result of an affective conflict, generally of an infantile character, which has determined some particular struggle between the repressing and repressed impulses of the subject. In our joint work Hesnard and I have already shewn that there exist instinctual impulses which should become part of the normal personality and enter into the subject's activities as a whole, whether sexual or sublimated. At the moment when they arise these impulses are regarded as dangerous and are therefore combated by counter-impulses: they rapidly become unconscious and thus their further development is arrested. It is therefore only natural that they should give rise to trouble in proportion as they tend to become deflected into directions other than normal. As you know, the object of analysis is to enable these repressed impulses to resume the normal course of development which has been interrupted; this can be done only by destroying the obstacles which have been erected by the counter-impulses. Such obstacles, set up in the unconscious, are the work of the super-ego and the ego. These are the two institutions which call into being the defensive armour of resistances, the purpose of which is to hold captive the emotional life of our patients—an armour painful to wear but which, nevertheless, serves, as it were, to protect the subject against himself and to establish a kind of equilibrium within him. When we destroy this armour, designed to shield an affrighted affectivity, we upset this equilibrium and compel the patient to perform an arduous piece of work. It is therefore not surprising that, apart from the weight of inertia, normal in every individual, we have to combat the patient's fear, as well as all those forces which in any human being endeavour to resist a surgical intervention of so radical a nature as analysis.

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