The Rediscovery of the Unknown: An Inquiry Into Psychoanalytic Praxis

Journal Article or Monograph

Title: The Rediscovery of the Unknown: An Inquiry Into Psychoanalytic Praxis
Year: 2000
Authors: Eisold, K.

Years ago, Loewenstein (1957) suggested that the analyst should act as if theory didn't exist. This extreme position - perhaps only possible for an analyst so secure in his theory that he cannot distinguish it from fact - nonetheless echoes a persistent theme in our literature. We must try not only to avoid suggesting to the patient what he thinks or feels, but we must try to avoid prefiguring for ourselves what we will come to understand. We need an open mind.

There are many expressions of this idea, a kind of clinical common sense. Freud himself wrote to Ferenczi: "one should not make theories - they must fall into one's house as uninvited guests while one is occupied with the investigation of detail" (Falzeder & Brabant, 1996, p. 74). But as we also know, Freud made theory into shibboleths, a basis for professional warfare. The battlefield of psychoanalytic history is littered with the corpses of those theoretical conflicts.

Keywords: Psychoanalytic goals
Language: English

Journal: Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Volume: 36
Issue: 00
Start page: 57
End page: 75
Publisher ID:

Submitted by:
Anne C. Fruge
Faculty and Supervisor
The William Alanson White Institute

Corresponding author: Keneth Eisold

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