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Feldman, M. (2007). The illumination of history. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 88(3):609-625.

(2007). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 88(3):609-625

The illumination of history Language Translation

Michael Feldman

Formulations regarding the patient's history have not only played an important part in understanding the patient, but interpretations explicitly linking the present with the past have been seen as central to the therapeutic process. In this paper the author considers the role of historical reconstruction in bringing about psychic change. He emphasizes the therapeutic value that lies in the exploration of the way the patient's history is embodied in his internal object relationships, becoming manifested in the transference-countertransference relationship. The author presents clinical material which he suggests allowed the analyst to follow the way the patient's internal object relations, coloured by her history, became expressed and played out in the sessions. He suggests that, when these processes can be followed and addressed in the present, this may lead to a diminution in the underlying anxieties. This can thus promote psychic change by freeing the patient's capacity to achieve a sense of connection with her history, and to tolerate the meaning of what emerges, which illuminates both the present and the past.

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