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Modell, A.H. (1988). The Centrality of the Psychoanalytic Setting and the Changing Aims of Treatment—A Perspective from a Theory of Object Relations. Psychoanal Q., 57:577-596.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 57:577-596

The Centrality of the Psychoanalytic Setting and the Changing Aims of Treatment—A Perspective from a Theory of Object Relations

Arnold H. Modell, M.D.

ABSTRACT

The psychoanalytic setting, which includes the bond between analysand and analyst, is the foundation of psychoanalytic treatment. This object tie, although in the here and now, and "real," is demarcated from ordinary life and can be thought of as existing within a different level of reality. The psychoanalytic setting is subject to symbolic transformations that enable non-specific developmental conflicts to be worked through. I have described this transfomation as the "dependent/containing transference," which I have compared and contrasted to the highly variegated and specific "iconic" transference (transference neurosis). This view of the psychoanalytic setting leads the analyst to pay special attention to problems of entrustment and safety and to the communicative process that regulates the closeness and distance between the two participants.

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