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Matte-Blanco, I. (1989). Comments on 'From Symmetry to Asymmetry' by Klaus Fink. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:491-498.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:491-498

Comments on 'From Symmetry to Asymmetry' by Klaus Fink

Ignacio Matte-Blanco


In the first place I wish to point out that in my opinion Fink has masterfully discovered and defined all the factors which, put together, explain this extraordinary therapeutic success. I may mention, here and there, some little addition to the very convincing explanations that he gives 'to understand these events'. My main task, however, will be another: in the first place to try to understand the various aspects of his therapeutic activity in this case so that we may arrive at the specific factors which led to his success. Furthermore, to make an attempt at formulating these factors in a general way so that they may also be used in cases where we may not find some of the actual facts and coincidences mentioned by Fink.

To do this I shall avail myself of a summary of these events. I hope the reader will understand that some repetition of his comments is inevitable and even desirable for a complete grasp of the question. In order to make things easy to follow I shall number each item which in my opinion must be considered.

1. Just by chance the patient overheard the analyst 'talking energetically in German on the telephone, and from thereon Peter talked at length for several weeks about how his father handled the German occupation troops by being energetic. How his father was big and strong …'

2. 'At this stage I interpreted his occupation problems, being occupied by fears (in German besetzt [in both cases] …) using this opportunity to tell him that he had one year to finish his analysis and that I would no longer put up with him missing sessions because of his phobia since we had to use all the available time to end the analysis properly.

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