Paul Gray, MD, 2000

“In my clinical practice, supervision, and teaching of psychoanalysis my aim is to further not only the alleviation of patients' symptoms and distress but to foster access to an autonomy that can come gradually from an experiential and cognitive understanding of how their minds work. Fifty years ago, I was successfully using our traditional, mainstream Freudian methodology. Thirty years ago, I began to evolve in my work and in my contributions to our literature a modification in technique of the analysis of conflict and defense. Simply put, in my subsequent teaching and series of papers I encouraged extending Anna Freud's description of changing the traditional "free floating" attention in analytic listening to one of close attention to the patient's ongoing processing of affects when they manifest in consciousness conflicts that initiate demonstrable defensive solutions. I de-emphasized, among other thing, traditional interpretative activities, and instead stressed the avoidance of comments based on contexts outside the observable material of the mind as it is actually functioning in the analytic situation. This contrasts with the intentions of traditional interpretations which create unconscious "disequilibria", followed by fresh compromise formations. over the years, I have continued to accumulate evidence that close attention to the patient's processing of affect provides an especially useful degree of experiential access to the drive derivatives of aggression. Analysis of conflicted derivatives of aggression, not only reduces the many defensive tendencies to turn-on-the-self, it also reduces fear of aggression evoked by frustration and thereby permits analysands to risk experiencing greater degrees of transferred libidinal longings despite the inevitable disappointments that follow.”

Excerpted from Dr. Gray's remarks.