The Ethic of Honesty: The Fundamental Rule of Psychoanalysis

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 for the axiomatic principles upon which psychoanalysis is based. Through a careful exegesis of Freud’s texts, he persuasively shows how the fundamental rule of psychoanalytic 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 this kind.

— JON MILLS, EDITOR
Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies

“This book challenges both psychoanalytic and existential orthodoxies persuasively and, at times, brilliantly. It is a thought-provoking exegesis that deserves to find a home on any bookshelf that contains a mix of philosophy and psychoanalysis. Strongly recommended!”

— MIKE HARDING, The Society for Existential Analysis, Regent’s College, London

“This book should interest and benefit anyone willing to wrestle with questions of psychoanalytic method as well as the humane and humanistic purposes of psychoanalytic treatment. Students in training will particularly find support in their questioning of doctrine in the interest of fidelity to the analytic experience. The kind of skepticism for which Thompson calls helps lift the veils with which we shut out experience and come to premature assumptions.”

— STANLEY A. LEAVY, MD, Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute

“This is a book that took courage to write. This stimulating and at times brilliant book discusses in depth the principles upon which the psychoanalytic experience can be both illuminating and healing. This is a searching, honest, hard-hitting, valiant and highly original effort to focus on the essentials and future of psychoanalytic practice. It is unflinching in its presentation but lucid and incessantly motivated to bring us back to our roots by getting us to rethink what we are doing. All of us will learn and be stimulated by this extraordinary effort.”

— MURRAY BILMES, PhD, Alliant International University,
Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California