Resistance in analysis

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Freudian Dictionary

The whole of psychoanalytic theory is in fact built up on the perception of the resistance exerted by the patient when we try to make him conscious of his unconscious. The objective indication of resistance is that his associations stop short or wander far away from the theme that is being discussed. He may also become subjectively aware of the resistance by experiencing painful feelings when he approaches the theme. But this last indication may be absent.[1]

We call all the forces which oppose the work of cure the patient's "resistances." The gain from the illness is the source of one resistance, and "unconscious guilt" represents the resistance from the Super-Ego; this is the most powerful factor, and the one we most fear. We meet still other resistances in the course of the treatment. If the Ego, in the early period, undertook a repression on account of anxiety, that anxiety still exists, and now expresses itself as a resistance if the Ego approaches what is repressed. It may weIl be imagined that difficulties arise when an instinctual process, which has followed a certain path perhaps for decades, is suddenly required to take a new course which has now opened for it. One might call that the resistance of the Id. The fight against all these resistances is the main work in the treatment, and the task of interpretation seems smaIl beside it.[2]

The overcoming of resistance is the part of our work which requires the greatest time and the greatest trouble.[3]

The fifth type of resistance ... of the superego, the last recognized and the most obscure, but not always the weakest, seems to derive from the sense of guilt or need of punishment; it resists any success and hence also recovery through the analysis.[4]