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Gaddini, E. Kuchenbuch, A. (1978). Dialogue on 'Different Types of Anxiety and their Handling in the Psychoanalytic Situation'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:237-243.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:237-243

Dialogue on 'Different Types of Anxiety and their Handling in the Psychoanalytic Situation'

Eugenio Gaddini and Albrecht Kuchenbuch

This dialogue meeting was based upon the papers read by Betty Joseph (this issue) and Leo Rangell (this issue) which served to illustrate their different approaches in practice and theory of psychoanalytic treatment by representative case material, to elucidate the role of affects, especially anxiety, in the clinical situation and their handling according to the different conceptions, in the 'Kleinian' and traditional 'Freudian' way.

Betty Joseph elaborated her approach describing some ways the analyst is sometimes used by the patient not only to contain his anxieties but to join in the patient's defence system. The patient can arrive at this by unconsciously provoking certain countertransference reactions which fit in his defence. Starting from the understanding of interactions between transference and countertransference, Betty Joseph demonstrated how to get in touch and work with deep anxieties underlying the defence and the more superficial manifestations of anxiety.

Her patient A. tried to live out a sadomasochistic relationship in the transference, in order to ward off anxiety by provoking critical and even hostile interpretations from the analyst. Thus he protected himself against the experience of guilt feelings and anxiety resulting from ambivalence conflicts.

Another patient, B., who behaved in a very calm and cool manner to demonstrate that he was not anxious at all, had a dream which provided in a very impressive way an opportunity to understand how he dealt with affects and succeeded in avoiding anxiety.

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