Free Association

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  • A technique used in psychoanaly sis, whereby the client is encouraged to say anything that comes to mind, no matter how trivial or irrelevant it seems. Sigmund Freud believed that these free associations would eventually lead to the expression of deep-seated wishes and desires that reflect underlying conflicts. In classical psychoanalysis, the client lies on a couch while the therapist sits off to the side, thus creating an atmosphere that encourages the client to focus on his or her own thoughts. For more information, see Freud (1949).

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