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Power, D.G. (2000). On Trying Something New: Effort and Practice in Psychoanalytic Change. Psychoanal Q., 69(3):493-526.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(3):493-526

On Trying Something New: Effort and Practice in Psychoanalytic Change

David G. Power, Ph.D.

This paper describes one of the ingredients of successful psychoanalytic change: the necessity for the analysand to actively attempt altered patterns of thinking, behaving, feeling, and relating outside of the analytic relationship. When successful, such self-initiated attempts at change are founded on insight and experience gained in the transference and constitute a crucial step in the consolidation and transfer of therapeutic gains. The analytic literature related to this aspect of therapeutic action is reviewed, including the work of Freud, Bader, Rangell, Renik, Valenstein, and Wheelis. Recent interest in the complex and complementary relationship between action and increased self-understanding as it unfolds in the analytic setting is extended beyond the consulting room to include the analysand's extra-analytic attempts to initiate change. Contemporary views of the relationship between praxis and self-knowledge are discussed and offered as theoretical support for broadening analytic technique to include greater attention to the analysand's efforts at implementing therapeutic gains. Case vignettes are presented.

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