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The Dialectics of Psychoanalytic Decision-Making

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The thesis of this article is that there is no single analytic technique, and psychoanalytic decision-making consists of a dialectical movement among the different possibilities. The aim of the analytic process is to make conscious previously unconscious meaning and motivation and to bring to fruition arrested psychic capabilities, but how that is done is not restricted to any particular technique. Analysts stay silent, ask questions, seek clarification, interpret, and encourage further expression, among other types of interventions. The crux of clinical decision-making for the analyst is to choose which of these various procedures to deploy at any given moment. Each analytic technique deployed means that an alternative is in abeyance and that often means an aspect of the process is neglected. The analytic therapist has a barometer that tells him or her when the neglected part of the process needs to come forth and assert itself. In the dialectics of analytic decision-making, the analytic therapist uses his or her sense of what is being neglected to shift the analytic technique to a different form of intervention. How this dialectic is played out in the analytic process is explored and articulated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 2, 2016

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