10 Pages

The Analytic Situation

WithRank Otto

As a preliminary to the author's task of pursuing a little further the investigation of the Unconscious from his psychoanalytic experiences and observations, the author should like to refer to a fundamental principle which has hitherto guided psycho analytic investigation. In a number of analyses, most of which were successfully accomplished, he noticed that in the end-phase of the analysis the healing process was quite regularly represented by the Unconscious in the typical birth symbolism, which to a large extent is already known to us. For in the analytic situation the patient repeats, biologically, as it were, the period of pregnancy, and at the conclusion of the analysis—i.e., the re-separation from the substitute object —he repeats his own birth for the most part quite faithfully in all its details. The analysis finally turns out to be a belated accomplishment of the incompleted mastery of the birth trauma.