The Ethic of Honesty

The Fundamental Rule of Psychoanalysis


Author: M. Guy Thompson

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M. Guy Thompson, Ph.D., is Founder of Free Association, Inc., in San Francisco, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, and former President of the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education and the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. He is the author of The Death of Desire: A Study in Psychopathology, The Truth About Freud’s Technique: The Encounter with the Real, and numerous journal articles and book reviews on phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and schizophrenia. He practices psychoanalysis in San Francisco.
"Michael Guy Thompson has written a cogent, concise, and extremely relevant work about the role of honesty in the psychoanalytic enterprise. It ought to be must-reading for every psychoanalytic practitioner, new or seasoned, still in training or already practicing in the field. … The Ethic of Honesty is an excellent book." - in: Psychologist-Psychoanalist (Official Publication of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association), Vol. XXVI, No. 2 (Spring 2006)
"Thompson’s book is brilliant. It not only deserves to be read. It deserves that the reader ponder on it for a long time." - in: Journal of Phenomenological Psychology
" The Ethic of Honesty ought to interest and benefit anyone willing to wrestle with questions of psychoanalytic method as well as with the humane and humanistic purposes of psychoanalysis." - in: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Vol. 53, No. 3 (Summer 2005)
"Let it be said, with Thompson, that the arc of telling the truth and having the truth witnessed and acknowledged – of believing and being believed – is a fundamental need and right that is in the very core of being human." - in: fort da (The Journal of the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology), Vol. 11, nr. 1 (2005)
"Rarely do we come across a book that has the force and cogency to provoke us to reevaluate the most fundamental tenets of psychoanalysis. One of the most brilliant psychoanalytic scholars of our time, M. Guy Thompson revolutionizes our understanding of the axiomatic principles upon which psychoanalysis is based. Through a careful exegesis of Freud’s texts, he persuasively shows how the fundamental rule of psychoanalysis is not merely a vehicle for free association but, more importantly, a pledge to honesty. Contextualized in the subjective lived experience each analyst faces, Thompson demonstrates how Freud’s technical mandates are nothing less than ethical imperatives by which to live, authentically. This fascinating exploration into the philosophical dimensions of psychoanalysis offers a compelling contribution to the clinical application of psychoanalytic doctrine that will be of interest to psychoanalytic practitioners of all persuasions. There is no other book of its kind." – Jon Mills
One The Fundamental Rule
Two Thinking Through Free Association
Three The Way of Neutrality
Four The Rule of Abstinence
Five Phenomenology of Transference
Six The Enigma of Countertransference
Seven Therapeutic Ambition
Eight The Existential Dimension to Working Through
Concluding Unscientific Postscript
About the Author