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Nelson, M.C. (1974-75). Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique. 2nd ed. Karl A. Menninger and Philip S. Holzman. New York: Basic Books, 1973. 208 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(4):640-642.

(1974-75). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(4):640-642

Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique. 2nd ed. Karl A. Menninger and Philip S. Holzman. New York: Basic Books, 1973. 208 pp.

Review by:
Marie Coleman Nelson

When this work first appeared in 1958 under the sole authorship of Dr. Menninger, it was reviewed in these pages by the present writer. My estimate of the volume as an outstanding text for students of classical analysis has changed little, even though a certain spirit of liberality that set the work apart from much psychoanalytic writing of that period may well pass unnoticed by contemporary readers. For example, the author's early recognition of the self-preservative function of resistance, developmentally, is now intrinsic to the teaching of ego psychology, while the employment of moralistic overtones by analysts in reporting on resistance is more readily identifiable as negative emotional response to the patient than it was fifteen years ago.

Very little has been altered in the essential structure of the work. The personal pronoun of the original author has been pluralized, minor rephrasing and reparagraphing has been done, and the bibliography somewhat updated. The excellent introductory survey of the evolution of psychoanalytic training and growing body of literature on technique has been retained, as has the careful exposition of the similarities and differences between the psychotherapeutic contract of analyst and patient and other two-party agreements. It is interesting to note that the discussion of fee has been considerably abridged in the second edition; a long quotation from Dr. Nils Haak on fee resistances has been omitted. whereas the 1958 version says (p.

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