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Rosenfeld, H. (1958). Contribution to the Discussion on Variations in Classical Technique. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:238-239.

(1958). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 39:238-239

Contribution to the Discussion on Variations in Classical Technique

H. Rosenfeld

In this discussion there have been many references, particularly by Dr. Loewenstein, to the classical technique of analysis, without its having been clearly stated what this term means. Do we mean by classical technique, the technique used by Freud forty-five years ago and described in his papers on technique? We have to remember that even forty-five years ago analysts varied considerably in their actual methods of working. I am told, for example, that Dr. Sachs was a very silent analyst, who did not interpret for weeks or sometimes months on end. Abraham, on the other hand, is known to have interpreted a great deal more than many analysts practising at the same period, and in his technique he relied predominantly on interpretations.

Dr. Eissler has proposed that the term 'classical technique of analysis' should be used for an analytic technique relying entirely on interpretations. I think this to be a very helpful definition.

Dr. Loewenstein suggested the use of modifications of technique when there is difficulty in reaching the patient by means of interpretations. But this attitude was criticized by Dr. Eissler, who showed that, at any rate in one example quoted by Dr. Loewenstein, a particular problem of a patient might well have been dealt with purely by interpretations. I agree with Dr. Eissler's criticisms because I think that some of the modifications of technique which Dr. Loewenstein uses are by-passing the patient's resistances rather than bringing them into focus.

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