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Widlocher, D. (1968). Contribution to the Study of Individual Change During the Analytic Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:487-488.

(1968). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49:487-488

Contribution to the Study of Individual Change During the Analytic Process

Daniel Widlocher

An apparently fresh interest in the development of changes during analytic treatment is shown in recent studies. These are quite varied. Some, carried on at the Menninger Foundation, pertain to the clinical evaluation of therapeutic results (Wallerstein, 1953), (1965), (1966). Others try to define the exact nature of the transformation (Bion, 1965). A certain amount of investigations taking place at present under the control of Lagache also concern the theory of change and the problems of methodology involved in the clinical study of change. One can ask oneself what new elements are assembled by these investigations other than the generally accepted behavioural changes.

Freud never concealed his preference for the study of resistance and his distaste for the theories of cure. In "Analysis Terminable and Interminable" (1937) he wrote:

Instead of an enquiry into how a cure by analysis comes about (a matter which I think has been sufficiently elucidated), the question should be asked, of what are the obstacles that stand in the way of such a cure?

—undoubtedly a veiled disavowal of the preoccupations expressed in connection with this subject at the Marienbad Congress in 1936 (Glover et al., 1937).

The study of change does not coincide with that of the therapeutic factors and can in no way define therapeutic aims. The therapeutic aim is to re-establish an identity or a continuity in the chain of representations; change is only a result of correct handling of the situation.

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