This is a thorough, detailed study of the various theories concerning how psychoanalysis is passed on to future generations of analysts. The French term for this process is transmission. Girard discusses the history, crises, and contemporary problems concerning transmission, with a thorough review of the literature and summary statements of the problems both in France and in contemporary American psychoanalysis. He concludes with an extensive bibliography on the subject, arranged by topic and covering the major psychoanalytic publications. For Girard, what is transmitted are certain aspects of the analyst's particular relationship with the body of theoretical and technical knowledge as well as with his or her teachers. The main emphasis for Girard, as for Freud, is on the contrast between a knowledge of psychoanalysis gained through lecture courses or reading, and the specific process of analytic training by which the future analyst becomes an analyst. Girard examines Freud's discussions concerning the topic. Freud did not specifically develop a concept of the transmission of psychoanalysis, although he did use the notion of transmission in discussing the passing on of taboos or of cultural and linguistic heritages. Freud discussed transmission in certain texts which were provoked by three critical situations: the break with Jung, the prospects for the development of psychoanalysis after World War I, and the legal ramifications of the Reik affair. These prompted Freud to set down his ideas on the development and institutionalization of psychoanalysis in "On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement" (1914); "Lines of Advance in Psycho-Analytic Therapy" (1919), "On the Teaching of Psycho-Analysis in Universities" (1919), and "The Question of Lay Analysis" (1926). Early thoughts on and problems of transmission can also be found in The Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. As the movement developed, some fundamental rules of analysis were formulated: free association, the necessity of a personal analysis for the analyst (Ferenczi), and the need for institutional rather than individual training (Eitingon). Finally, it was felt that membership in a psychoanalytic society was necessary.
Girard's own view of Freud's theory of transmission is an interesting one. He sees Moses and Monotheism as a testamentary document, expressing Freud's fantasies about his doctrine and the survival of his work as well as its transmission. This text not only envisaged Freud's death and its effect on the evolution of psychoanalysis, it dealt as well with the destiny of the negative transference when it becomes sheltered in a cult of institutes and the text. Although psychoanalysis was not intended to be a religion, it was to become one for some, and Freud in this work showed us the repressed conflicts which lead to this situation. He was concerned with the theme of the murder of the father and his surrogates, and the role of the "great men" who have a need for authority and admiration. To the extent that the development of
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psychoanalysis supposes a cultural diffusion, a personal transmission, a "conversion," and an institutional organization, the schema of the development of monotheistic religion in Moses and Monotheism serves as a guide.
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Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 59:163-164