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(1967). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XV, 1965: On Analytic Goals and Criteria for Termination. Z. Alexander Aarons. Pp. 97-109.. Psychoanal Q., 36:627.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XV, 1965: On Analytic Goals and Criteria for Termination. Z. Alexander Aarons. Pp. 97-109.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:627

Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XV, 1965: On Analytic Goals and Criteria for Termination. Z. Alexander Aarons. Pp. 97-109.

The task of analysis is to effect structural change, accomplished by the mobilization and analysis of conflict, anxiety, and defense mechanisms. In this process drive energies bound in conflict are neutralized, secondary autonomous ego functions are liberated, strengthened, and consolidated.

Practical indications that this task has been fulfilled are: an estimate that no further significant change will take place; it appears that the patient will not be bound to a repetition of pathological means of coping with external circumstances; the patient's ability to effect adaptation along with the capacity for achievement and gratification. An explanatory rather than judgmental attitude is an analytic aim. The discovery of new aims along with a replacement of conflict is one criterion of successful analysis and another is to achieve the ability to inspect conflict rather than succumb to it.

The importance of working through is scored. Aarons argues for the importance of analyzing and working through intrasystemic, as well as intersystemic, conflict. The task of analysis, especially for the analyst, requires more, rather than less, time. Freud's recommendation that the analyst periodically resume his own analysis is recalled.

Arthur F. Valenstein's discussion of this paper (pp. 110-113) is in substantial agreement with Aarons, though he takes issue on several points. Valenstein stresses the primary aim of analysis as reduction of conflicts at the 'paradigm level of their genetic origination'. The resulting effect upon the ego in terms of redistribution of energy, consolidation of function, is secondary to conflict resolution. Valenstein also regards intrasystemic conflicts as secondary to intersystemic conflicts.

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Article Citation

(1967). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XV, 1965. Psychoanal. Q., 36:627

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