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Valenstein, A.F. (1962). The Psycho-Analytic Situation—Affects, Emotional Reliving, and Insight in the Psycho-Analytic Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:315-324.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:315-324

The Psycho-Analytic Situation—Affects, Emotional Reliving, and Insight in the Psycho-Analytic Process

Arthur F. Valenstein

In a brief discussion of so broad a subject as the psycho-analytic situation, one can only concentrate on one or another aspect with no intention of being definitively inclusive. Yet limitation of theoretical consideration to a single technical aspect, or a particular curative element, seems like an artifactual approach when viewed against the background of the complex psycho-analytic process, with the variety of therapeutic principles and agents which over time, singly and in combination, account for change. So long, however, as it is understood that such a focal discussion is not an inadvertent overlooking or intentional minimizing of other essential component effects in the psycho-analytic process, conceptual clarity may be enhanced with a practical consequence of potential usefulness for diagnosis and technique. With this qualifying preface, I should now like to consider the place of affects and the role of emotion, in the sense of emotionally charged remembering and emotional reliving, in relationship to the development of insight.

Fundamental to any discussion of affects in the psycho-analytic situation is the need for a comprehensive psycho-analytic theory of affects and a general theory of psycho-analytic therapy, both of which are among the most difficult and indeterminate theories in psycho-analysis. I shall briefly review the evolution of a general theory of affects and mention a few relevant aspects of a theory of psycho-analytic therapy as a frame of reference for the main topic of this presentation.

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