While we would wish otherwise, reality is elusive, shot out of reach by our hand as we try to grab hold of it. Freud was no stranger to this elusive quality, and in trying to grasp his technical recommendations concerning the countertransference and his prescriptions for analytic abstinence we must consider his view of epistemology and the status of reality. The question of epistemology is critical to how we understand both the interpretive activity of the analyst and the nature of neurotic suffering in the analysand. While Freud is adamant that the capacity to procure gratification is the first pillar of health, he is equally clear that the attainment of this first goal is dependent on another: a strengthened connection to the real.