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Devereux, G. (1951). Some Criteria for the Timing of Confrontations and Interpretations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:19-24.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:19-24

Some Criteria for the Timing of Confrontations and Interpretations

George Devereux, Ph.D.


1. Confrontations stimulate rudimentary Gestalten to develop Prägnanz, and are timely when the analyst thinks that once this is achieved, he would be able to interpret them (effect a closure) correctly, even if he had to utilize solely the material already available at the time when the confrontation was made.

2. Interpretations—which reveal the repressed closure element of a neurotic Gestalt —are timely when the material produced by the patient has achieved an unequivocal Prägnanz. When several equally clear-cut ways of completing the Gestalt in a system-adequate manner are possible, the closure-element to be interpreted is the one which is compatible with the patient's main current preoccupations.

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