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Jelliffe, S.E. (1914). Technique of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Rev., 1(3):301-307.

(1914). Psychoanalytic Review, 1(3):301-307

Technique of Psychoanalysis

Smith Ely Jelliffe, M.D., Ph.D.

A further small series of this group is found frequently among the well-to-do. They are not parasites in the sense of the word just used. They may be independent financially, but are encrusted by the usages of their social milieu and are analyzed with great difficulty. The democratic attitude of psychoanalysis, its pragmatic and humanistic tendencies run counter to their aristocratic, rationalistic and individualistic mode of education. They are very indolent. Novel reading, drug taking, alcoholism and social fussing constitute their most frequently used pathways to escape from being bored to death; while auto-erotic fantasy, sexual tittle tattle, definite liaisons or perversions may be the sole excitements that apparently give any value to life.

They buy attention with their money; look for flattery and self indulgence, and utilize the physician as a blind for the carrying out of their desires. They expect to be told to do the proper thing in “cures.” If their set goes to Carlsbad or Hot Springs they expect their medical advisor to know the present styles in sanitaria, health resorts, etc., and use his prescription as a lever to move obstacles, if such exist. Psychoanalysis is far too serious and circuitious a method to interest them beyond that which may have previously stimulated their curiosity regarding its so-called “sexual sniffling.” Since in actual psychoanalytic practice no such thing exists such patients as a rule lose interest and move on to a “new” medical interest that will amuse them.

(b) The group of patients for whom psychoanalysis would be more disadvantageous than advantageous is difficult to outline; yet for the beginner certain patients are best let alone. The advantages to be gained are doubtful.

I would place in this series those individuals who do not seriously take up the subject.

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