chapter  16
5 Pages

The classical technique and its limitations

Expressed in another way, these analysts may try to restrict their responses to the regression - foremost among them their interpretations - to those found so reliable when dealing with conflicts at the Oedipal level, hoping that by this cautious technique the patient will be pulled out of his regression and attracted again by the remnants of his interests that he had previously had, in triangular relationships of real life, in the various oral, anal, genital forms of sexuality, and so forth. What is overlooked by these cautious analysts is that, using this technique, they may force the patient either to remain at the Oedipal level during the whole of the treatment, or to return there speedily after very brief regressions into the other areas of the mind. In this technique most of the phenomena belonging to the area of the basic fault are possibly interpreted as symptoms of castration complex or penis envy. These interpretations will be correct to the extent to which they bring to light one of the over-determining factors but, since they neglect all those originating from the basic fault itself, in some cases they must prove therapeutically unhelpful. True, these therapists can achieve commendable results, but only with patients who have been carefully selected.