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Rosenblatt, A.D. Thickstun, J.T. (1984). The Psychoanalytic Process: A Systems and Information Processing Model. Psychoanal. Inq., 4(1):59-86.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 4(1):59-86

The Psychoanalytic Process: A Systems and Information Processing Model

Allan D. Rosenblatt, M.D. and James T. Thickstun, M.D.

Although the psychoanalytic process has been discussed extensively in the psychoanalytic literature, these writings have usually been within the framework of standard psychoanalytic theory. Here we wish to examine the developmental processes of psychoanalytic treatment from the standpoint of a conceptual framework of information processing and systems theory, which we believe involves not merely a terminologic change but a significant conceptual change with wide-ranging implications.

We use the term developmental processes here in the broad sense to refer to those progressive and relatively orderly changes in complexity of psychological organization and function that occur in the course of a psychoanalysis — changes in the patient, in the analyst, and in the analytic system itself. Although these changes are similar to those that normally transpire during growth and development, there are also differences. In child development, if the environment cannot respond appropriately to the child's maturational attainments, deficiencies occur, in addition to distortions that occur on the basis of conflict. But the developmental processess of treatment (of whatever kind) cannot resupply the maturational epoch which has been passed.

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