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March 09 , 2011

The Analytic Attitude


'It is my aim in this book, writes Dr Schafer, 'to clarify the intellectual and emotional attitude adopted by the analyst at work.'"The analytic attitude" ranks as one of Freud's greatest creations. Both the findings of psychoanalysis as a method of investigation and its results as a method of treatment depend on its being consistent to a high degree. Yet Freud offered no concise, complex, generally acceptable formulation of what it is: his ideas, or a version of them, can only be derived from his papers on technique. Taking these ideas as a starting point, and with due regard to the contributions of other analysts over the years, Dr Schafer rises to the challenge of defining the "ideal" attitude that he come to aspire to in his work as an analyst. To this end he discusses not only the analyst's empathy, the need to establish an "atmosphere of safety" in relation to the dangers the patient perceives when facing the possibility of insight and personal change, but also the concepts of transference and resistance, and the nature of psychoanalytic interpretation and reconstruction.Both original and innovative, Dr Schafer's book offers the reader a fresh understanding of the analytic process and its narrative structure. It will deepen the foundations of all psychoanalytic work, and, at the same time, help to develop a modern epistemology for psychoanalysis as well as a much needed discipline of comparative psychoanalysis.
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