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Manuel Furer

Changes in Psychoanalytic Technique: Progressive or Retrogressive?Changes in Psychoanalytic Technique: Progressive or Retrogressive?

Tonight I shall talk to you about psychoanalytic technique in new and old dress.
I shall ask you to direct your attention to a remarkable congruence in the
technical writings of Sandor Ferenczi and those of our present day revisionists
of what we may still call standard technique. The title of my lecture, Changes
in Psychoanalytic Technique: Progressive or Retrogressive is adapted from a
paper by Ferenczi delivered in 1929 as Progress in Technique and published in
1930 as The Principle of Relaxation and Neocatharsis. Perhaps, Ferenczi said,
the term progress is a misnomer; perhaps the title should be Retrogressive or
Reactionary. But, backward can be forward. Ferenczi advocated a return to
Freud's early theory when the pathogenesis of neurosis was thought to be the
traumatic impact on the child of seduction by the adult, and the remedy was
recovery of memory, catharsis, and the use of the personality of the analyst to
influence the patient. On this position, undeservedly abandoned , Ferenczi
constructed an alteration of the early technique with emphasis, enhancement, and
expansion of the role of the analyst which would bring about not only a reliving
of the trauma but in addition, a corrective experience, and thus a neocatharsis
that would heal in a way that other techniques had failed to do.
Ferenczi's new technique of 1930 was also a significant alteration of what was
at that time already very close to the standard technique of today. The role of
transference had by 1930 almost reached its current preeminence, and a greater
understanding of transference and countertransference was available. Ferenczi
added to the trauma of sexual seduction, the powerful, malevolent force of the
hypocrisy of the parent as a major ...
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