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Burton, N. (2012). Getting Personal: Thoughts on Therapeutic Action Through the Interplay of Intimacy, Affect, and Consciousness. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(6):662-678.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(6):662-678

Getting Personal: Thoughts on Therapeutic Action Through the Interplay of Intimacy, Affect, and Consciousness

Noelle Burton, Psy.D.

How do patients internalize new good object experience and how do these previously closed systems open up? What happens within and between analyst and patient that leads to the opening up of affective channels between them and allows consciousness to become transpersonal? The ways in which self-state experience becomes more fluid and cohesive, or less dissociated, is an affective process. This process occurs intersubjectively, as well as between self-states within each individual. When particular self-states come together between analyst and patient, especially those associated with pain and shame, disruption and instability may result within the mind-system (intrapsychic organization) of either or both partners. Managing the affective strain and psychic destabilization are vital tasks for the analyst and patient, in order for relationships between parts of the self (within one individual) to move from pain and hiddenness to compassionate recognition, thereby allowing and facilitating for parts of the self within the other individual to, in turn, move from pain and hiddenness to compassionate recognition. This is a core process of internal life, leading to the development of intimacy between self-states as well as between individuals.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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