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Krasner, R.F. (1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982: Psychoanalytic Failure: Reflections of an Autobiographical Account. Hans H. Strupp. Pp. 235-258.. Psychoanal Q., 53:495.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982: Psychoanalytic Failure: Reflections of an Autobiographical Account. Hans H. Strupp. Pp. 235-258.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:495

Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982: Psychoanalytic Failure: Reflections of an Autobiographical Account. Hans H. Strupp. Pp. 235-258.

Ronald F. Krasner

The failure of psychoanalysis, in this instance the training analysis of a candidate in the German Psychoanalytic Association, is explored by Strupp through an examination of an autobiographical book describing the analysis. Flowers on Granite: An Odyssey through German Psychoanalysis was written by Dörte Drigalski in 1980. Subsequently rejected for membership in the German Psychoanalytic Association, Drigalski considered her analytic experience to be a complete fiasco. As she sees it, she was assaulted with interpretations in her first analysis and "reproached, criticized, depreciated, rejected, and subjugated" in the second. In summary, Strupp wonders "whether the author was one of those patients who defied virtually any therapist's best efforts, or whether she became the victim of the therapists who were uncommonly rejecting, harsh, and unempathic." Two short articles of comment follow. Ralph Crowley, in a short essay, "On Tragic Miscarriages," summarizes Strupp's "lessons" for the practice of psychoanalysis: (1) therapists must be aware of the powerful forces they work with and must therefore be accountable; (2) when a therapist defends himself against his patient's provocations, he may unwittingly harm him; (3) the therapist must be aware of assuming omniscient attitudes; (4) patient's misuse of interpretations must be clarified; (5) the past must not be overemphasized; (6) psychoanalysis is a joint endeavor, a collaboration; (7) psychoanalytic psychotherapy involves transference and its resolution. In "To Live and Let Live," John Schimel also comments on Strupp's article, warning of the dangers of the therapist's pursuit of psychopathology at the expense of the patient. He urges tolerance and compassion for human weakness.

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Article Citation

Krasner, R.F. (1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 53:495

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