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Miller, S.B. (1992). Insight and Other Psychotherapy Change Processes. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 20(4):611-632.

(1992). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 20(4):611-632

Insight and Other Psychotherapy Change Processes

Susan B. Miller, Ph.D.

Insight belongs to a larger class of experiences that have special significance for psychotherapeutic change because they allow an individual to extend the positive effects of moments of new experience by organizing and storing those moments to make them available for future use. Insight can be understood as an act of the creative, synthesizing aspect of the personality, which is capable of combining multiple elements into a complex whole.

Psychotherapeutic change can result from a number of events other than insight-acquisition; the change processes of special interest here share with insight-acquisition the capacity to promote moments of new experience within the psychotherapy session or outside it. Among these additional change processes are focusing, recategorizing, and active and passive imagining. Also discussed are induced feelings accompanied by minimal conscious cognitive processing, and changes of psychological structure induced outside awareness.

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