Lipton’s Journal/January 31, 1955/326

From Project Mailer

The possibility of other psychotherapeutic techniques. Generally, the patient gives gives gives—the analyst takes takes takes. Occasionally, this is reversed. But I wonder if this works well for everybody. Most people, despite their resistance, probably find it easier to talk about themselves, and the projection they put on the analyst is a subtler secondary thing, picked up by intuition.

I wonder if certain kinds of neurotics, particularly aggressive “stupid” “insensitive” patients for one example, might not best enter the analysis with the instructions from the beginning to talk not about themselves but about the analyst. This would have to be done by feel of course, but there is a kind of top-heavy righteous man who is made to violate his nature when he is asked to attempt to free-associate. Far better for “cranks” and “reactionaries”—whose ranks are conspicuously absent among analysands—such as McCormick[1] of the Chicago Tribune and Winchell[2]—say to lie down or stand up or sit up and deliver themselves in the early weeks of exactly what they think of the analyst. Encouraged to say more and more and more the remarks will very quickly become a giant projection, and it seems to me the time will follow more or less shortly when they realize that. Stunned and terrified, they will then be ready for free association, because simply they will now need to go into themselves. The energy to strike back, to project, which is the character defense, has become over-extended and exhausted.


  1. A conservative from a wealthy Illinois family that owned the Chicago Tribune, Robert M. McCormick (1880-1955) ran the newspaper from the 1920s until his death. He was a fierce critic of President Franklin Roosevelt, and opposed U.S. entry into WWII.
  2. A newspaper and radio gossip columnist with a huge audience, Walter Winchell (1897-1972) supported the New Deal, but in the 1950s took a turn to the right and praised the communist witch hunts of Senator Joseph McCarthy.