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Grinberg, L. Langer, M. Liberman, D. De Rodrigué, G.T. (1967). The Psycho-Analytic Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 48:496-503.

(1967). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 48:496-503

The Psycho-Analytic Process

Leon Grinberg, Marie Langer, David Liberman and Genevieve T. De Rodrigué

The psycho-analytic process is hard to define for two reasons: first, because of its quality as a basic concept, which is liable to have such wide connotation that everything in the realm of theory, technique or clinical data is, in a way, relevant to it, and, second, because of its very nature, which sets it apart from purely biological processes. The analytic happening has the unavoidable quality of the psychobiological process, but it is also induced, magnified and articulated by the appearance of an agent of psychosocial change, namely, the analyst in the exercise of his professional activity (Rapaport, 1959). The interaction of what is already given in the patient with what the analyst gives back to him provides the structure of the therapeutic relationship in a specific and complex manner.

When we speak of analysis as a process we mean both an event that takes place in treatment and the outcome of that event. The second phase—the outcome—may happen within the session or outside it. When dealing with working through, we shall stress the nature of the changes that evolve both in the patient and in the analyst inside and outside the immediate context of the session.

In the same way as the opening of a session contains implicitly the basic unconscious fantasies that will presently unfold in the hour, we believe that the first sessions of a psychoanalytic treatment may present the essential and specific contents that will characterize the whole analytic process.

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