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Greben, S.E. (1975). Some Difficulties and Satisfactions Inherent in the Practice of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 56:427-434.

(1975). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 56:427-434

Some Difficulties and Satisfactions Inherent in the Practice of Psychoanalysis

Stanley E. Greben

During the past ten years, those who are interested in understanding the process of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis have increasingly turned their attention to the therapeutic relationship. In the earliest writings in this field, attempts were made to objectify and make more scientific the therapist's ways of relating to his patient. Freud wrote about the technique of psychoanalysis: a stance was described which has been likened to that of a surgeon or of a mirror (Freud, 1912p. 115). This was necessary in the pursuit of some standards in our work. As a part of these developments, Freud pointed to those distortions of reality which occurred both in the patient and the therapist which he called transference and countertransference. For some time most of our attention to the therapeutic relationship was directed to these two sides of neurotic distortion between the two participants (Greenacre, 1954); (Winnicott, 1949). In the extreme position there have been those who put forward the opinion that transference issues could be seen as accounting for all that transpired within the therapeutic relationship (Segal, 1967).

This latter position was then felt by many to be an unwarranted extreme. How could we believe that so complex a matter could be reduced to so mechanistic and simplistic a template?

It then developed that several components of the therapeutic relationship were discerned and described (Greenson, 1965), (1967); (Greenson & Wexler, 1969); (Zetzel, 1956).

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