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Mclaughlin, J.T. (1996). Through the Patient's Looking-Glass: Reflections upon the Analyst's Self-Inquiry. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 4(2):205-229.

(1996). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 4(2):205-229

Through the Patient's Looking-Glass: Reflections upon the Analyst's Self-Inquiry

James T. Mclaughlin

Analysts traditionally have been reluctant to claim for their efforts at self-reflection the significance and value of self-analytic discovery At the same time, many of us measure the analysand's progress by the criterion of increasing self-analytic capacities.

Not enough has yet been written about the question of the validity of self-analytic efforts and moments. Caveats abound about the liabilities for self-delusion and premature closure to which such efforts are prone (Freud 1914, de Ekbor and Lichtmann 1982, Gomberg Panel 1994)

While acknowledging the cogency of such concerns, I enjoy the solace of knowing that there are no final insights to be come upon in the analytic quest, only further and always incomplete understanding. I share with certain others the conviction that genuine enlightenment and subsequent change can be the self-analytic outcome of sufficiently-motivated self-scrutiny (Ticho 1967, Poland 1977 and 1988, Calder 1980, Gardner 1983, Jacobs 1991).

I have elsewhere dwelt upon the motivating impetus for self-contemplation that lies in the ongoing tensions inescapable for most of us in our ongoing clinical work with our patients (McLaughlin 1993).

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