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"Whoever has admitted that transference and resistance constitute the linchpins of treatment forever belongs in our untamed horde," Freud wrote to Georg Groddeck on June 15th, 1917.

He would later add: "The acceptance of unconscious psychical processes, the acknowledgement of the doctrine on resistance and repression, the taking into consideration of sexuality and the Oedipus complex are the principle tenets of psychoanalysis and the bases of its history, and whosoever is not prepared to subscribe to all of them should not count himself among Psychoanalysts" (1923a).

Since then, disputes have run to the heart of the various psychoanalytic institutes over didactic analyses and training.

The absence of a consistent code, compounded by inconsistent statutory regulations which governmental authorities have and have not have enacted in different region, has further multiplied the number of pronouncements as to what each institute reckons should best define what a psychoanalyst is.

Freud had already stated a few of his own prescriptions: "It is therefore reasonable to expect of an analyst, as a part of his qualifications, a considerable degree of mental normality and correctness.

In addition, he must possess some kind of superiority, so that in certain analytic situations he can act as a model for his patient and in others as a teacher.

And finally we must not forget that the analytic relationship is based on a love of truth—that is, on a recognition of reality—and that it precludes any kind of sham or deceit" (1937c, p.


The work of the psychoanalyst has been described as being quite similar to that of the patient.

First of all he or she should be committed to the relationship and to analyzing his or her own motivations for being in it.

He or she must also engage in interpretive listening, including to the manifestations of their own defenses.

In short, a "free-floating" or "evenly-suspended" attention must be paid when dealing with the processes inevitably evoked or generated by the highly-charged affective moments to which psychoanalytic activity leads.

The term counter-transference has been considerably expanded upon since it first appeared in 1910, and the various meanings attributed to it attest to the intricacies that develop within the analytic situation (Sandler, Joseph, et al.,

1973; Blum, Howard, 1986). 

These conceptual responses, like the so-called "neutrality" intended to make the analyst into a "mirror," attest to the receptiveness with which personal analysis, often called a "didactic" or "training analysis," was meant to equip the psychoanalyst.

In the event, only a presumptive judgment may be made in this respect.

It should be recalled that language is the analyst's fundamental operation medium.

The psychoanalytic candidate must have mastered the unique system of language that a psychoanalytic dialogue will engage him in, as this language is far from being something that unfolds through one voice alone.

The "Rules and Procedures of the Training Committee, Representing the French SPP [Société psychanalytique de Paris]," composed in France in 1949, in which the style of Jacques Lacan is very much in evidence, detailed the criteria for the selection of candidates for apprenticeship in psychoanalysis in France in the wake of the Second World War: "Only through clinical examination may light be shed upon the deficiencies which disqualify the candidate as an aide to memory or judgment: traits pointing to future intellectual frailty, latent psychoses, cognitive difficulties compensated for otherwise; or as a guiding agent: psychical difficulties in the form of crises and mood swings including epilepsy, meaning Cyclothymia."

The "Rules and Procedures" also advise: "Among other disqualifying elements should be included such problems as might impair the basis of imaginary support the person of the analyst may furnish to transferential identifications in the generic homeomorphism of his body image: shocking deformities, visible mutilations and overt functional impairments .



Secondly, the examiner should consider the candidate's cultural education, which is evidenced in the special kind of intellectual open-mindedness that grasps the meanings of words and inspires their usage."

Freud, relying less on specifics and caricatures in his catalogue of counter-indications, emphasized above all the characteristic element of commitment to the activity, which "cannot well be handled like a pair of glasses that one puts on for reading and takes off when one goes for a walk.

As a rule, psycho-analysis possesses a doctor either entirely or not at all" (1933a, p.


The arguments that have taken place surrounding whether it is possible to practice psychoanalysis part-time, on the margins of other medical or university activities, are extensive.

While Freud regretted the fact that "It cannot be disputed that analysts in their own personalities have not invariably come up to the standard of psychical normality to which they wish to educate their patients" (1937c, p.

247), he also added: "It almost looks as if analysis were the third of those 'impossible' professions in which one can be sure beforehand of achieving unsatisfying results.

The other two, which have been known much longer, are education and government" (p. 248).


See also: Abstinence/rule of abstinence; Active technique; Analysand; Boundary violations; Collected Papers on Schizophrenia and Related Subjects; Counter-transference; Cure; Elasticity; Ethics; Evenly-suspended attention; Face-to-face situation; Framework of the psychoanalytic treatment; Fundamental rule; Initial interview(s); Interpretation; Lay analysis; Money and the psychoanalytic treatment; Mutual analysis; Negative therapeutic reaction; Neutrality/benevolent neutrality; Pass, the; Psychoanalysis; Psychoanalytic technique with adults; Psychoanalytic technique with children; Psychoanalytic treatment; Psychotherapy; "Recommendations to Physicians Practicing Psychoanalysis"; Supervised analysis (control case); Tact; Termination of treatment; Therapeutic alliance; Training of the psychoanalyst. Bibliography

   * Blum, Howard P. (1986). Countertransference and the theory of technique: discussion. Journal of the American Psychoanalytical Association, 34.
   * Freud, Sigmund. (1923a [1922]). Encyclopaedia article: "The libido theory." SE, 18: 255-259.
   * ——. (1933a [1932]). New introductory lectures on psycho-analysis. SE, 22: 1-182.
   * ——. (1937c). Analysis terminable and interminable. SE, 23: 209-253.
   * ——. (1960a). Letters of Sigmund Freud. (Ernst L. Freud, Ed.; Tania and James Stern, Trans.) New York: Basic Books.

See Also