chapter  2
3 Pages

Interpretation and working-through

As I have attempted to show, the topical point of view does not seem to offer much help towards a better understanding of our technical difficulties and, in particular, does not place in our hands criteria reliable enough to decide whether any one individual therapeutic step is correct in the given circumstances or not. This, however, could have been expected. We must not forget that the last revision of our theory of the mental instances and localities was undertaken by Freud in the early twenties, some forty years ago. Since then no essentially new idea about the mental apparatus has been put forward (though cf. the new ego psychologies by Fairbairn, Hartmann, and Winnicott). On the other hand, it is unquestionable that since that time our technical potential, our actual skill, and, together with them, our technical problems, have increased considerably. I surveyed these new developments in a paper I presented at the ZUrich Congress (1949), in which I tried to show that Freud's technique and his theoretical conceptions were interdependent.