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Ruderman, E.G. (2002). As Time Goes By: Life Experiences and Their Effects on Analytic Technique. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(4):495-509.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 22(4):495-509

As Time Goes By: Life Experiences and Their Effects on Analytic Technique

Ellen G. Ruderman, Ph.D.

Life is not Static, Nor are we. Through Differing Developmental stages, we analysts may experience poignant self-awakenings precipitated by internal and external changes, some of which may originate in our work with particular patients.

Our directions in life often shift as external events and internal modifications cause us to bring new insights and perspectives into the analytic treatment milieu. Through life and treatment processes, then, many psychoanalysts may manifest these shifts and changes by altering their approaches and treatment directions with their patients in the analytic situation. In doing so, analysts may also bring innovative new ideas and revitalizing approaches to the body of knowledge in the mental health field.

The responses to the challenges of developmental milestones are particularly interesting for female therapists, whom I have studied extensively since 1983, as will be alluded to subsequently, and from whose work I draw a clinical example for this paper. Issues of separation anxiety and loss, movement into middle age and advanced maturity, all reverberate in a particular way for women in our society and culture.

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