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Berenstein, I. (1987). Analysis Terminable and Interminable, Fifty Years on. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:21-35.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:21-35

Analysis Terminable and Interminable, Fifty Years on

Isidoro Berenstein


The author reviews 'Analysis terminable and interminable' and traces the similarities to and differences from the situation fifty years ago, discussing Freud's personal circumstances in 1937 and the circumstances of the psychoanalytical movement and concentrating on the relationship with Ferenczi; a consideration of social and political circumstances and some of the points dealt with in Freud's eight sections from the standpoint of today. He discusses the various possible connotations of the terms 'terminable' and 'interminable'. Other terms that could be used coincide only partially: finite and infinite; capable of being worked through and not capable of being worked through; expressible and inexpressible; finished and unfinished; possible and impossible.

The author considers new circumstances for the practice of psychoanalysis in situations of

social trauma which raise the question of analysis possible and impossible.

Finally, an attempt is made to arrive at a provisional definition of the conditions under which analysis may be regarded as terminable or interminable.

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