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Henry, C. (2010). Aggression, Containment, and Treatment Enactments in the Psychodynamics of Limit Setting. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 38(2):341-356.
   

(2010). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 38(2):341-356

Aggression, Containment, and Treatment Enactments in the Psychodynamics of Limit Setting

Charles Henry, M.D.

Limit setting has an important role in psychotherapeutic treatment. Despite this, the psychodynamics of limit setting have been a largely neglected topic in the literature. This article will present a theoretical discussion on the psychodynamics of limit setting particularly as it relates to the parent-child and the therapist-patient relationship. The central roles of aggression and impulse containment will be reviewed along with an overview of the relationship between limit setting and projective identification.

Potential enactments that occur during the treatment of limit testing patients will be examined. Case material of the treatment of a child with a disruptive behavior disorder will be used to elaborate the discussion.

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