A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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background. As an uncompromising observer, he is able to watch and understand what is going on in the tangled web of the patient's emotions. What the patient requires is an interpretation of his thoughts, emotions and behaviour by an unbiased individual, and it is here that the chief work of the analyst lies. But until the patient is ready to see in his own behaviour what the physician can readily discern from his point of vantage, no amount of explanation or interpretation can be of value. As one psychoanalyst has put it, the physician devotes ' a maximal amount of time in attempts to understand the patient so that the latter may understand himself, and a minimum amount of attention in directing him \
The method adopted is for the patient to lie on a couch facing away from the physician so that the flow of ideas may be entirely unimpeded by distraction or embarrassment. He is required to express whatever is in his mind, no matter how illogical, disconnected or irrelevant it may seem. The dreams which he brings and the productions arising from this free association, form the material with which he and the analyst work. The analyst watches the everyday behaviour of the patient, his emotional reactions to trivial as well as important things, his prejudices, habits and so on, reading from these the unconscious motivations of his thoughts and activities, and these must be deciphered, and evaluated according to the meaning that they hold for the patient. First the reactions of present-day life are analysed, and the patient sees how they mask wishes and tendencies which are unconscious ; that is, which have been repressed. Slowly the resistances toward bringing these hidden tendencies to light break down. As the analysis proceeds, tremendous resistances against uncovering deeper layers of the personality appear, and