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Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979. Psychoanal Q., 53:151.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:151

Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

The Patient and the Analyst's Memory. J. P. Bourgeron. Pp. 649-654.

There are patients who believe that their analyst should forget nothing. They admit no difference in principle between a negligence out of forgetfulness and an intentional negligence. If the analyst does forget something, he is treating the patient as insignificant. This way of thinking is found in different degrees during therapy and is especially seen at the beginning of treatment. It can go so far that the patient takes on the role of the analytic superego, analyzing and interpreting all movements of the analyst. Bourgeron deals with the general question of the analyst's errors. Early in therapy such errors may prevent a positive transference from developing if they are interpreted as a lack of interest. But later in therapy, a too good memory could be suffocating or castrating and might lead patients into depression, because they feel that they are no longer masters of themselves before the perfect analyst. Recalling something a patient has repressed is risky in that it shows the interest we have in a patient and thus can be seductive. Bourgeron concludes that the analyst's memory and its faults are an integral part of an analysis. Less subject to repression, the analyst's memory permits the patient to reconstruct the past, while the analyst's failures of memory prevent the analyst from being deified.

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