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Tip: To review the bibliography…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Skolnick, N.J. (2006). What's a Good Object to Do?. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(1):1-27.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(1):1-27

What's a Good Object to Do? Related Papers

Neil J. Skolnick, Ph.D.

Nearly all relational theorists localize therapeutic change in the relationship between a patient and a therapist, who functions as a creative form of good object. For that reason, the shift to a relational model necessitates the illumination of the clinical uses of an analyst as good object. The author proposes and describes three categories of analyst as good object: (1) dynamic identification, a clinical application derived from Fairbairn's keystone concept of dynamic structure; (2) the acceptance of patients' love, a requisite for treatment that follows Fairbairn's redefinition of libido; and (3) empathic attunement to psychic organization, a subcategory of empathy that considers empathy from a structural viewpoint rather than from its usual reference to affective resonance. Clinical vignettes are used to illustrate the three inclusive, but not comprehensive, forms of good object functioning by the therapist in the clinical situation.

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