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Murphy, M. (2006). Foreclosed Futures: Working in Clinical Gray Zones. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(5):519-526.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(5):519-526

Foreclosed Futures: Working in Clinical Gray Zones

Maureen Murphy, Ph.D.

In this paper I propose the notion of analytic resilience to answer the question, What permits the analyst to stay therapeutically alive when the life of the patient is in doubt? Resilience—a version of transitional phenomenon—vacillates between autonomic arousal and imaginative reconstruction. The creation of meaning, the maintenance of personal agency, and learning from experience are the analytic instruments available to counter the impulse to retreat in the face of relentless external assault. Throughout the paper, I use clinical moments to illustrate analytic resilience at work.

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