chapter  7
Signs of love – women know best
WithBogdan Wolf
Pages 19

This leaves me with the most vibrant and critical response to the uses of countertransference in the period Lacan was focusing on, coming from the pen of Annie Reich. In her two articles of 1951 and 1960, she puts forward a critique of the “total response” approach of Margaret Little by stating it leads to regression. Total response strategy pushes the analyst to regression in a systematic way which has effects on the analytic process. In the latter article, she says emphatically that the conflation of countertransference with the analyst’s “total response” boils down to a misconception. Her critique aims to salvage psychoanalysis from collapsing into psychotherapy. Little’s approach in this respect amounts to undermining “analytic neutrality”, the concept already criticised by Paula Heimann. Before Heimann, the analytic neutrality was sustained by what Reich called a “myth of the analyst’s perfection”. It is true that the ideal analyst prevailed for a long time after Freud, contributing substantially to the imperfections of analytical training and, most notably, to what constitutes the end of analysis, the notion Lacan worked with, making massive advances in this respect.