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Gaskill, H.S. (1980). The Closing Phase of the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Adults and the Goals of Psychoanalysis 'The Myth of Perfectibility'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 61:11-23.

(1980). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 61:11-23

The Closing Phase of the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Adults and the Goals of Psychoanalysis 'The Myth of Perfectibility'

Herbert S. Gaskill


The goal of analysis in the transference neuroses is achieved with establishment of internalized autonomy. A central focus of the analytic process is the epigenesis of reality thinking. Freud's early ideas about reality testing and the more recent contributions to the development and organization of the mental apparatus are reviewed. Recent postanalytic follow-up studies and panel discussions relating to these studies suggest that the analyst's task is completed when the best possible psychological conditions for the ego's functioning has been reached including the development of the self-analytic function. The attainment of the latter provides the analysand with the potential for continued analytic monitoring and further development.

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