viii ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUE AND CONFESSIONAL 331
from failures by carefully excluding such cases. Yes ; but this is not so easy as it seems. Our diagnosis can very often only be made ex post facto. We cannot give an opinion about a patient who comes for treatment or a candidate who comes for training, until we have studied him analytically for some weeks or months. The subject comes to us with undefined, general troubles which do not allow of any certain diagnosis. So the precaution is not of much value.' 7S
As we have seen, the roots of psychic disorders go very deep and a correspondingly penetrating study is needed to gain an insight into them. With adults two factors have primarily to be taken into account, the degree of their mental rigidity and the deeper seated determinants which lie behind the neuroses. The greater the plasticity of mental life, and this grows less and less with age, the greater the difficulty of bringing old memories to light. Naturally, the longer the causes producing the unhealthy condition have been hidden and the more they have been overlaid with other processes, the longer it takes to uncover them.
Some analysts discuss with their patients the method of treatment, and even give them psychoanalytic literature to read. But Freud advises against this, for it has been found that it is precisely the best-informed patients with whom it is most difficult to deal ; they have been forewarned to organize resistances against the revelation and learn ways of concealing their inner self. It has to be remembered that the neurotic's greatest dread is that he will be rid of his neurosis, however much he may protest the contrary.
The great aim of analysis is to resolve internal conflicts, to relieve feelings of guilt and, in Freudian terminology, to ' release libido fixated on infantile objects ', to give freedom from interest in objects belong-