This book, the first in the series Contemporary Freud: Turning Points and Critical Issues, is published for the International Psychoanalytical Association. Each book in the series presents a classic essay by Freud with discussions of the essay by prominent psychoanalysts from several countries.
“Analysis Terminable and Interminable” is considered Freud’s clinical legacy, summing up his sense of the potential and the limitations of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic technique. Though many have regarded this essay as pessimistic in tone, it has also been lauded for its realism and for its hard-headed look at why therapy’s actual outcome must always fall short of the ideal. The contributors to this volume discuss Freud’s essay from many viewpoints. They place it in historical perspective (written in 1937, it reflects Freud’s exposure to the savagery of Nazism), situate it in terms of Freud’s personal suffering (the death of loved ones, the chronic pain of cancer), and relate his insights and observations to the major theoretical issues of the period. Most important, this volume relates Freud’s essay to current issues in technique and to controversies arising from different theoretical perspectives.
An introduction to the volume, written by Joseph Sandler, Ethel Spector Person, and Peter Fonagy, provides a succinct overview of the material. The book will be an invaluable teaching tool for psychoanalytic therapists of diverse backgrounds.
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