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Limitations to free association and interpretation

Macmillan, Malcolm 2001, Limitations to free association and interpretation, Psychological inquiry, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 113-128, doi: 10.1207/S15327965PLI1203_01.

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Title Limitations to free association and interpretation
Author(s) Macmillan, Malcolm
Journal name Psychological inquiry
Volume number 12
Issue number 3
Start page 113
End page 128
Publisher Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc
Place of publication Hillsdale, N.J.
Publication date 2001
ISSN 1047-840X
Summary A core challenge that emerged from the historically based critique of Freud's work that constitutes Freud Evaluated: The Completed Arc (Macmillan, 1991, 1997) was to Freud's claim that the basic rule of psychoanalysis for inquiring into the causes of symptoms was unaffected by his “suggestions.” That is, in demanding that the patient tell the analyst whatever came to mind with complete candor, the patient would not be led astray by the analyst's ideas about the possible causes of the symptoms. In this article, the assumptions underlying Freud's belief in the validity of the method of free association are made explicit and criticized. The basic indetermination inherent in interpreting material apparently recovered by the method is also made explicit. Some of the consequences of the method for psychoanalytic developmental theories and for deciding between the variant schools of psychoanalysis are set out.
Language eng
DOI 10.1207/S15327965PLI1203_01
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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