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Sherman, M.H. (1965). Freud, Reik and the Problem of Technique in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Rev., 52C(3):19-37.

(1965). Psychoanalytic Review, 52C(3):19-37

Freud, Reik and the Problem of Technique in Psychoanalysis

Murray H. Sherman, Ph.D.

Intuition Yersus Resistance Analysis

Although Dr. Theodor Reik has written on a great many psychoanalytic topics, he has become most identified with what is commonly termed the intuitive or “third ear” (n. 1) approach to psychoanalytic technique. In some respects this technique may seem to contrast with or even to contradict the technique of defense or resistance analysis, as developed by Sigmund Freud and practiced today by the so-called “orthodox” group of psychoanalysis. It is often felt that the intuitive approach to psychoanalytic technique has been superseded by the more “scientific” technique of resistance analysis.

Dr. Reik has described his own approach in terms of the inner experience of surprise (n. 2) with which the analyst responds to certain of the patient's communications. He relates this feeling of surprise to an earlier expectation of the analyst, which has been repressed. A re-emergence of the repressed gives rise to the feeling of surprise, which then, together with the associated content, forms a significant basis for the analyst's interpretation. In turn, the analyst's interpretation is often surprising to the patient.


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