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Freud ( Assessment and intervention)

Assessment and intervention

1: Free Association 

Freud’s technique of free association, as we have seen, involved the patients’ self-reports of whatever thoughts and memories occurred to them, without any kind of self-censorship. The patients were told to report all thoughts, no matter how trivial, unimportant, mortifying, embarrassing, and illogical they seemed to be. Freud called this attempt at completely uncensored reporting the “fundamental rule” of psychoanalysis. During these sessions, Freud sat behind the patient out of sight but in a position to watch facial expressions and gestures; in this way, he ensured that he did not elicit behavior from the patients by his own gestures and facial expressions. He wanted the patients’responses to be spontaneous, and not controlled by him, Freud believed that when resistance occurred the analysis was definitely moving in the right direction—that is, toward uncovering the actual source of the patients’ problems. Through the use of free association, Freud discovered that patients’problems typically stemmed from traumatic experiences in early childhood. 
Freudprovidedaninterestingnonclinicalexampleoftheuseoffree association to uncover an unpleasant secret (Freud, 1960b, pp. 8–11). While on vacation, Freud renewed his acquaintance with a young academician, who was familiar with some of Freud’s theories but highly skeptical about their validity. The man was very depressed about the state of the world in general and about his own bleak prospects for success in academic life. Not only were few academic positions available, but his Jewish heritage virtually guaranteed his professional failure because of the anti-Semitism prevailing at the time in academic life.
The incident involved a parapraxis, which is basically a cognitive failure such as a slip of the tongue, a mishearing of a word, or the forgetting of an obvious word or thing. The young academician wanted to emphasize his outrage at the injustice by quoting a line from Virgil’s Aeniad, in which the wronged Dido prays for revenge on Aeneas. The line was Exoriar(e) aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor (Let someone arise from my bones as an Avenger). However, he omitted the word aliquis (someone). Immediately aware of his error, he tried to correct it; even though he thought about it for a long while, however, he just could not remember the word. Finally, he very reluctantly asked Freud to supply it, which Freud did. Feeling humiliated by his failure, the man tried to retaliate by reminding Freud of his“ absurd ” theory that even senseless mistakes had meaning. He then challenged Freud to prove his theory by revealing the latent meaning of the missing word, aliquis.
Freud promptly accepted the challenge, but only on the condition that the young man reports each and every thought that he had as he free-associated. The man accepted and began his free associations: “There springs to mind the ridiculous notion of dividing the word aliquis like this: a and liquis.” Freud asked, “What occurs to you next?” The young man replied, “Reliquien [relics], liquefying, fluidity, fluid.” He then asked, “Have you discovered anything yet?” Freud replied, “No. Not by any means yet. But go on.” The man laughed scornfully and said, “I am [now] thinking of [Saint] Simon of Trent whose relics I saw two years ago in a church at Trent. I am thinking of the accusation of ritual blood-sacrifice which is being brought against the Jews [again today].”



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