ABSTRACT

In my paper delivered at the Hague Congress 2 on the ‘active’ psycho-analytic technique, I put forward the view that one is sometimes in a position when one must issue orders and prohibitions to the patient regarding certain actions for the purpose of disturbing the habitual (pathological) pathways of discharge of excitations out of the psychical, and that the new distribution of psychical tension resulting from this interference makes possible the activation of material till then lying hidden in the unconscious and allows it to become manifest in the associations. Every now and then I observe in this connection that this activity can be extended to influencing the material of associations. If, for example, one observes signs that a patient is ‘misusing the freedom of associations’ and one calls his attention to this, or if one suddenly interrupts the flow of words of the analysand and harks back to something brought forward 69earlier, from which the patient with his logorrhœa seeks to fly by means of ‘talking past the point’, we sin apparently against the ‘fundamental rule’, but we remain true to another and even more important regulation of psychoanalysis, which is that the chief duty of the analyst is to unmask the resistances of the patient. We may not make any exceptions to this rule in those cases in which the resistance employs the fundamental rule of associations to frustrate the objects of the treatment.