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Frumkes, G. (1951). Types of Activity in Psychoanalytic Technique. Psychoanal. Rev., 38(4):305-317.

(1951). Psychoanalytic Review, 38(4):305-317

Original Articles

Types of Activity in Psychoanalytic Technique

George Frumkes, M.D.

Read at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Washington, D. C., May 16, 1948.

For the most part, the activity of the analyst consists in making the patient obey the fundamental rule and giving interpretations. A passive receptive technique is basic. Ferenczi cites as examples of active procedures:

Making patients complete their thoughts

Asking them to desist from nonsense type of free association, like disconnected words and unrelated phrases

Shaking a patient who would start to faint as his associations became too painful and revelatory.

As an extension of Freud's dictum that the analysis was to be conducted in a state of abstinence, he sometimes forbade certain types of behavior (which he called larval orgasm), at first only for the analytical hour and later for the rest of the day. In the case of a woman who kept her legs crossed, he decided it was a form of masturbation, and that libido was thus being discharged and its force dissipated and made unavailable for the recovery of memories. Simply making the patient refrain from this practice resulted in the production of much valuable material concerning childhood and masturbation.

Sometimes he imposed positive tasks. For example, he urged a singer to perform for him with gestures.

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