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Undoing the lag in the technique of conflict and defense analysis

Author(s): Gray P

Abstract

When the individual skills of a psychotherapist or psychoanalyst coincide with what serves as a sublimation for the practitioner, the gratification in the clinical work is especially enhanced. If those moments of applied skill also are a part of the specific therapeutic action of that form of treatment, a fortunate combination exists. As Freud expanded the potential of psychoanalytic treatment when he reformulated the theory of anxiety, he also provided access to improved therapeutic actions in the course of analyzing intrapsychic conflict. This meant that some of the sublimations in practicing the earlier techniques no longer coincided with what could be the therapeutic actions characteristic of the more effective analysis of conflict. The lag in adding new technical measures to psychoanalytic methodology is more fully accountedfor by a reluctance on the part of some analysts to sacrifice certain traditional sources of sublimated projection in interpretations and to seek other sublimations commensurate with Freud's more advanced view of analyzing defenses.

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