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Kris, A.O. (1985). Resistance in Convergent and in Divergent Conflicts. Psychoanal Q., 54:537-568.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 54:537-568

Resistance in Convergent and in Divergent Conflicts

Anton O. Kris, M.D.


Psychoanalytic theory has limited the term conflict to refer only to convergent conflict, whose elements tend to move toward each other, as in repression. Formulations made from the viewpoint of the method of free association have led the author to favor an expansion in the concept of conflict to include also divergent conflict, whose elements tend to move apart, as in regression-progression and in mourning. A broad range of clinical and theoretical phenomena of psychoanalysis can be accounted for by such a revision in the concept of conflict. Focusing on resistance, this paper provides a historical review and discusses the application of an expanded concept of conflict in the field of psychoanalytic technique.

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