Stages of Psychoanalytic Understanding
A knowledge of the neurotic trends and their implications gives a rough conception of what has to be worked through in analysis. It is also desirable, however, to know something about the sequence in which the work must be done. Are problems tackled in a helter-skelter fashion? Does one obtain a piecemeal insight here and there until at last the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are put together into an understandable picture? Or are there principles that may serve as a guide in the maze of material offering itself?
Freud's answer to this question seems easy enough. Freud declared that a person will first present in the analysis the same front that he presents to the world in general, and that then his repressed strivings will gradually appear, in succession from the less repressed to the more repressed. If we were to take a bird's-eye view of the