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Sovremenny psikhoanaliz

Exposing the Tabooed Image

Ekaterina Shcherbakova (Moscow)

Just as the first impression of the coming in patient means a great lot for the attentive analyst thinking of the patient's image, the deep nature of psychoanalysis itself can be traced taking into consideration the way it appeared against the definite background of the contemporary cultural and scientific context. It is the conscious encroachment upon unconscious taboos - the most powerful obstacles on the way of cognition - that gives this type of psychotherapy the right to conquer the title of the authentic science. The authors, whose textbook appeared almost a century after the first analyst published his first work, share with the readers the viewpoint which attempts audaciously upon the tabooed image of the analyst himself - a living working colleague, a professional and a human being. Therefore it is no wonder to face far more refined and severe defensive means than the resistance of the Philistine of the beginning of the century.

The style and the language of the textbook could be in itself a practical guide for the interpreting practitioner whose aim is both to assure the reader's censorship in its self-respect, its ability to enjoy the sofisticated professional dialogue- that is to gain trust - and at the same time to lure the curious reader into the blind alleys (and not by chance!) of the current knowledge just at the moment when the censorship is undoubtedly relaxed due to respectful 'time-honoured' traditions and common human weak points. For instance, one of the 'key-words' of such gentle and skillful treatment with the reader's censorship is the frequent use of the attribute 'indirect' in the text. The amount of the information the reader gets in every sentence also suggests a mild but repeating stress loosening the solid prejudice.

But the most impressive is the immediate action- not just speculation about: the analyst really opens the scene traditionally sacred and worshipped by mutual silent agreement: he opens his face and invites his counterpart (Good Gracious! this is a patient!) to discuss the question "What is me? Whom do you see in front of you and whom are you speaking to? What are we doing here together?" This is the topic which is vital for every analysand because to have an adequate idea of the counterpart is the necessary step before becoming aware of the self. The human face of the analyst supports the patient in acknowledging his own image only when it is evident that the dialogue with the human being differs from the monologue or the silence of the censorship. This is a real scientific feat- to suggest that the analyst should be alive and not conceal it from the patient, - and to commit the first step in overcoming this taboo publishing the therapeutic dialogue.

The Lehrbuch demonstrates the healthy and powerful nature of the science it describes, sensitive to the appeal of the hidden truth.