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Torem, M.S. (2010). The Central Role of Suggestion in All Clinical Encounters Including Psychoanalysis. Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(1):43-46.

(2010). Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(1):43-46

The Central Role of Suggestion in All Clinical Encounters Including Psychoanalysis Related Papers

Commentary by
Moshe S. Torem

The title of the article by Raz & Wolfson implies that the role of suggestion in psychotherapeutic change is described as “copper” while change through psychoanalysis is described as “gold,” implying that suggestion has an inferior role compared to changes achieved by psychoanalysis. Some have stated that Freud himself considered his method of psychoanalysis to be a superior tool for therapeutic change compared to the supposedly unsophisticated method of suggestion. Recent studies of brain imaging have given suggestion a new importance since it has now been validated as a real and powerful phenomenon that has a biological foundation in the human brain. This has not yet happened for psychoanalytic concepts such as ego, id, transference, countertransference, etc. This commentary argues the point that Freud never truly divorced himself from recognizing the important role of suggestion in psychoanalysis. Moreover, I believe that suggestion has a central role in all clinical encounters including the practice of psychoanalysis, as is shown in greater detail in the body of this commentary. It is my opinion that accepting this point of view will benefit practitioners of psychoanalysis as well as their patients.

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