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On Freud's 'On Beginning the Treatment'

by Christian Seulin and Gennaro Saragnano IPA
Pub Date:
Pbk 224 pages
AU$77.00 NZ$80.00
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Like his other papers on technique, Freud's 1913 essay ''On beginning the treatment'' had an enduring influence on psychoanalysts for generations to come, providing them with a solid and worldwide-accepted conceptual basis on how to initiate psychoanalytic treatments. After a century of clinical experience and theoretical research, are all of Freud's rules and advice still valid today?

Christian Seulin and Gennaro Saragnano have asked ten eminent analysts to comment upon this seminal paper of Freud's, each of them focusing on one of the fundamental issues originally propounded by the ''father of psychoanalysis''. The result is an overall and careful view on the actuality of the technical bases of analysis, in what can be considered a good introduction to contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice.
The original title in German of this seminal work, in its full version, was reproposed as it was in the English translation by Joan Riviere of 1924. Subsequently, it was shortened in the version for the Standard Edition: 'On Beginning the Treatment', as Strachey explains in his presentation of the Freudian text, was the first part of a trilogy that included 'The Question of the First Communications' and 'The Dynamics of the Cure'. Seeing it as a trilogy that goes beyond the beginning of the treatment returns the work to its original importance. Although Freud protects himself by using the metaphor of the game of chess, his 'recommendations' (not rules) lay the bases for what today we still consider to be the fundamental characteristics of the psychoanalytical method. All the circumstances - and there are several - that advise us not to ask for 'any unconditional acceptance' of the recommendations, do not prevent the author from establishing a procedure 'to set in motion a process'. In psychoanalysis, everything is played out between these two elements: the method and the process, i.e. the instruments that set in motion the process and the process itself. Jorge Canestri, MD, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, training and supervising analyst for the Italian Psychoanalytic Association and for the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association
Christian Seulin is Training and Supervising Analyst of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society (SPP), member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is former Secretary of the Training Committee of the Lyon's Institute of the SPP and former Secretary of the Executive Council of the Training Commission of the SPP. Living and practising in Lyon, he is currently President of the Lyon's group of the SPP. He authored more than fifty articles and book's chapters and one book. Gennaro Saragnano, MD, is a member and former Secretary of the Italian Psychoanalytical Association and psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Rome. He was the Editor of the Bulletin of the Italian Psychoanalytical Association from 2000 to 2007. He served the International Psychoanalytical Association as a member of the Website Editorial Board from 2005 to 2009, and he has been a member of the Publications Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association since 2009. He was appointed Chair of the Publications Committee during the Mexico City IPA Congress in August 2011.