Freud’s papers on technique: His record of discovery

Author/s Lawrence Friedman
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/4 Language Italian
Pages 16 P. 577-592 File size 245 KB
DOI 10.3280/PU2019-004002
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Freud’s Papers on Technique is commonly thought to collect various essays that reflect Freud’s opinions about how a proper psychoanalyst should behave. Accordingly, today’s analysts ask themselves whether - or how strictly - they should "obey" the Patriarch’s hundred-year-old "rules". This mistakes the overall sense of the book as a book. Freud is reporting an extended, empirical experiment on a radically new type of (psychoanalytic) phenomenon that he had chanced upon. He tries to determine the variables that either provoke or dispel the phenomenon. He is not primarily concerned with theory, efficacy or comfort. The data are often unwelcome, and are thrust upon him. Freud’s report is in the form of conditional assertions of fact, as though to say, "if you do X you will produce Y". He has found that the eliciting behaviors often run counter to normal social reflexes, so anyone wishing to reproduce the findings will need graphic alternatives as replacements. Therefor Freud conveys his results not so much by rules or values, as by metaphors and images that help an analyst adopt an attitude that elicits the phenomenon. Unfortunately, readers are generally unaware of the convergent aim of the book’s explorations, though that is what gives those terms their sole and specific purpose. We see readers seize one or another of the papers, pull out this or that familiar cliché or metaphor, and give it whatever ra-tionale they assume "it must have had". Since Freud provided these striking terms and images as aids in marshaling an un-definable and un-prescribable experience, uprooting them from their precise place in the inquiry turns guide-posts into loose lumber. The result is fruitless debate cir-cling personal taste and opinion, and tragic loss of access to a delicate and unnatural experience that will never be encountered without a deliberate plan. (This article is a modified version of the Introduction to Lawrence Friedman’ book Freud’s Papers on Technique and Contemporary Clinical Practice. New York: Routledge, 2019, pp. 1-11)

Keywords: Freud’s Papers on Tech-nique; Freud’s discovery of the psychoanalytic phenomenon; Frame and rules of the psychoanalytic treatment; Psychoanalytic technique; Psychoanalytic education

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Lawrence Friedman, Gli articoli di Freud sulla tecnica: resoconto di una scoperta in "PSICOTERAPIA E SCIENZE UMANE" 4/2019, pp 577-592, DOI: 10.3280/PU2019-004002