The future of analysis

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Abstract

The aim of analysis is to enable our patients to differentiate themselves from their past. The question we face as analysts is whether we are in fact neurotically bound to repeat the past. This paper addresses this question by considering some of the reasons that there is a ‘crisis in analysis’. Two central problems within the practice of analysis are identified as contributing to this ‘crisis’: 1) a view of the patient as ‘enemy’, or as innately destructive; and 2) a trend towards here-and-now interpretations within the transference which disregards history and the role of external reality. The danger of such an approach is that it does not allow patients to separate from their hateful primal scenes and to become free of neurotic guilt. When we are anxious about our own destructiveness and aggression and do not link this to a failure to form a loving relation, we run the risk of fostering compliance and conformity within our patients and within our own professional societies. In contrast, it is the recognition of the past and its influence on the present that makes analysis a tool for revolution

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