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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 29 / 69





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Cohen 26


Freud's stated purpose in writing The


is actually quite humble.

Since "no means has been found of in any way introducing into the reproduction of

an analysis the sense of conviction which results from the analysis itself'


analyses such as this are not published in order to produce conviction in the

minds of those whose attitude has hitherto been recusant and skeptical. The

intention is only to bring forward some new facts for investigators who have

already been convinced by their own clinical experiences (159).

The claim is somewhat misleading. Although he cannot "produce conviction" in the

avowed enemies of psychoanalysis, Freud believes he can change the minds of those

in the analytic community "who have already been convinced" by presenting them

with irrefutable "facts." The "investigators" he has in mind, we should remember, are

those wayward analysts whose "twisted interpretations" of the psychoanalytic

enterprise is a form of "resistance to its findings" (155). Freud's goal is not only

edification of an open-minded analyst, then, but the conversion of a hostile insider.

This curious mix of deference and aggression toward the reader is amplified in

a candid footnote where Freud maintains that he, not Jung or Adler, first considered

the possibility that repressed memories are inventions of adulthood. He concludes the

note with a plea:

If, in spite of this, I have held to the more difficult and more improbable view,

it has been as a result of arguments such as are forced upon the investigator by

the case described in these pages or by any other infantile


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