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(1937). Symposium on the Theory of the Therapeutic Results of Psycho-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 18:125-189.

(1937). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 18:125-189

Symposium on the Theory of the Therapeutic Results of Psycho-Analysis




The decision to hold a Symposium on the nature of Therapeutic Results is a clear indication that theories on this subject which have been generally accepted for so many years are either no longer regarded as adequate or no longer entirely acceptable. At any rate it will add considerably to our freedom of discussion if we admit from the onset that legitimate differences of opinion have arisen as to both past and present therapeutic formulations. Moreover, to judge from earlier analytic controversies it would appear that whenever differences of opinion exist in psycho-analytic circles, two safe generalizations can be made: first, that the original views put forward by Freud on that particular subject are still the best available and second, that as a result of more recent work, these original views are capable of, indeed require, more detailed correlation. I should like to add that in most cases the first of these two generalizations is the more valuable.

Reviewing earlier literature, there seems to be no question that Freud's original views, simple and schematic as they were, still constitute the most valuable and permanent contribution to the subject. These were in effect (1) the existence of transferences, (2) the development of the analytic or transference neurosis and (3) the degree to which the existence of these two manifestations (and in particular their negative forms) was hidden by repression or obscured by projection, thus giving rise to resistances. Successful results depended on the extent to which these three factors were analysed.

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