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Yadin, Z.S. (2016). Analyzing the Patient's First Name in the Search for Identity. Contemp. Psychoanal., 52(4):547-577.

(2016). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 52(4):547-577

Analyzing the Patient's First Name in the Search for Identity

Zvi Steve Yadin, Ph.D., PMHNP

A first name captures indispensable information about its bearer, including aspects of the individual's inner world and approach to the environment, the aspirations and attributions of the name-givers for the individual, and the transferences and countertransferences involving the feelings that a first name evokes. A name is therefore a code waiting to be deciphered that, when explored, can reveal its significance to its bearer. A name can impart multiple meanings; the process of interpreting a name is akin to peeling an onion layered in infinite sequences. This article proposes that an examination of the analysand's first name can be a useful clinical tool in psychoanalytic therapy. An exploration into the origin and meaning of a patient's first name through detailed inquiry and association can serve as a rich source of insight regarding relationships between name and self-identity, and can quickly expand the analytic process.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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