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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 53 / 69





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Cohen 50

of the constructions which we build up in the course of an analytic


attempts at explanation and cure" (268).

Freud tempers the revolutionary implications of this statement by noting that,

unlike an analytic construction, a psychotic delusion merely substitutes a past reality

for a present, rejected one. While accurate constructions and psychotic delusions

seem equally true to the recipient in that both present repressed memories to his

consciousness, only a construction related by the analyst can be truly therapeutic

(268). A construction is like a delusion, then, only insofar as the patient is concerned;

the analyst is certainly not delusional. Yet this is not the first time Freud compares

the madness of a patient with the purported sanity of the analyst: in his 1911 Notes

on a Case of Paranoia, he remarks on the similarity between the psychotic Dr.

Schreber's '"rays of God'" and his own concept of outwardly projecting "libidinal

cathexes" (12:


playfully quipping that "it remains for the future to decide

whether there is more delusion in my theory than I should like to admit, or whether

there is more truth in Schreber's delusion than other people are as yet prepared to

believe" (79).

Freud clearly intends this sense of shared psychosis in "Constructions in

Analysis," as well, with the implication being that patient and analyst alike draw from

their own repressions, the one in recovering and articulating the raw material to be

analyzed, and the other in formulating constructions. In this reading of Freud,

analysis begins to look less stratified and more collaborative, with the patient relating

fragments, the analyst constructing a story using this material in conjunction with the

contents of his own unconscious, and the patient in turn remembering (or creating)

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