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Currin, J. (2000). What are the Essential Characteristics of the Analvtic Attitude? Insight, the Use of Enactments, and Relationship. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(1):75-91.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(1):75-91

Clinical Study

What are the Essential Characteristics of the Analvtic Attitude? Insight, the Use of Enactments, and Relationship

Jane Currin, M.S.S.W.

How does psychoanalysis create psychic change? Is the analytic task confined to the analyzing function? Or does the analytic relationship contribute in some way to the process of therapeutic change? Is it insight or is it relationship? One characteristic of the psychoanalytic relationship defines psychoanalysis and sets it apart from other types of relationships. This characteristic is the act of analyzing and is essential to the outcome of positive change. But is it sufficient?

The analyst's attempts to maintain an emotionally receptive relationship with her patient is not sufficient alone to effect the process of a successful analysis. The analyst's receptivity and responsiveness are characteristics of the psychoanalytic relationship. These same


Acknowledgment: I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Charles Brenner for his guidance and many helpful suggestions about earlier drafts of this paper.

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